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PASTE By A. Beresford Ryley 





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First Published in igi2 

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V.P.S.A., Etc. Etc. 



I DO not propose, in this work, to consider the history or develop- 
ment of defensive armour, for this has been more or less fully 
discussed in works which deal with the subject from the historical 
side of the question. I have rather endeavoured to compile a work 
which will, in some measure, fill up a gap in the subject, by collecting 
all the records and references, especially in English documents, which 
relate to the actual making of armour and the regulations which con- 
trolled the Armourer and his Craft. At the same time it is impossible 
to discuss this branch of the subject without overlapping in some 
details the existing works on Arms and Armour, but such repetition 
has only been included because it bears directly on the making, selling, 
or wearing of armour. 

I have intentionally omitted all reference to the sword and other 
weapons of offence, for this would have unduly increased the size of 
the present work, and the subject is of such importance that it deserves 
a full consideration in a separate volume. 

The original limits of this work have been considerably enlarged 
since it was offered as a thesis for the Degree of Bachelor of Letters 
in the University of Oxford in the Michaelmas Term, 191 1. A 
polyglot glossary has been included, as this is a detail which has been 
practically overlooked by all English writers. The subject of Arms 
and Armour has not, up to the present time, received the attention in 
England that it deserves, but I would be the first to admit the value of 
the works of Meyrick and Hewitt, which are the foundations upon 
which German and French as well as all English authors have based 
their investigations. At the same time it should be remembered that 
these two authors were pioneers, and statements which they made have 
been contradicted or modified by more recent research. Two 

b ix 


examples of this will suffice. Meyrick named the upstanding neck- 
guards on the pauldron the " passguards " and the neck-armour of the 
horse the " mainfaire." From the researches of Viscount Dillon we 
learn that the passguard was a reinforcing piece for the joust and the 
mainfaire was a gauntlet (main de fer.) Both these mistakes are still 
perpetuated in foreign works on the subject, which shows the influence 
of Meyrick's work even at the present day. 

The subject of the Armourer and his Craft has never received 
much attention in England, even at the hands of Meyrick and Hewitt. 
On the Continent, however, writers like the late Dr. Wendelin Boeheim, 
Gurlitt, Buff, and Angellucci have all added greatly to our store of 
information on the subject. Boeheim's work on the Armourers of 
Europe {Meister der Waffenschmiedekunsi) is the only work in any 
language which has given us some account of the armour craftsmen 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and I should be indeed remiss 
if I did not take this opportunity of acknowledging the assistance 
which this collection of biographies has been in the preparation of the 
present work. Signori Gelli and Moretti have collected interesting 
documents relating to the Missaglia family, but apart fi*om this no 
other writers have made a study of the Armourer. 

Gay's Encyclopcedia^ which unfortunately was cut short after the 
letter G by the death of the author, is also invaluable as far as it goes, 
in that it gives in every case contemporary references relating to the 
use of each word. The late J. B. Giraud published certain records 
dealing with the Armourer in various French archaeological journals, 
and M. Charles Buttin has placed all those interested in the subject 
under a deep obligation for his minute researches on the subject of the 
proving of armour. 

Of living English writers I would express the indebtedness not 
only of myself, but also of all those who are true amateurs d'armes^ 
to Baron de Cosson, who, with the late J. Burges, A.R.A., compiled the 
Catalogue of Helmets and Mail which is to this day the standard work 
on the subject. Last of all I would offer my sincere thanks to 



Viscount Dillon, Curator of the Tower Armouries, not only for his 
minute researches printed in the Archceologia and Archceological 
jfournal^ which have brought to light much valuable information respect- 
ing the Armourer and his Craft in English records, but also for very 
great personal interest and assistance in the compilation of this work. 


S, John's College, 

Oxford, 1912 



Preface . . . . . . . . vii 

The Armourer . . . . . . . i 

Tools, Appliances, etc. . . . . . . 22 

Iron and Steel . . . . . . . 38 

The Craft of the Armourer . . . . . . 44 

The Proof of Armour . . . . . . 62 

The Decoration of Armour . . . . • • 73 

The Cleaning of Armour . , . . . . 78 

The Use of Fabrics and Linen . • . . . 83 

The Use of Leather . . . . . . . 96 

The Wearing of Armour . . . . . . 104 

The Armourers' Company of the City of London . . . .120 

Lists of European Armourers . . . . . . 126 

Short Biographies of Notable Armourers . . . .131 

List of Armourers' Marks . . . . • . 147 

Polyglot Glossary of Words dealing with Armour and Weapons . ' ^S3 


A. Extract from the Records of the Armourers' Company of London, 1322 

(Lib. C, fol. 33) . . . . . . 169 

B. Regulations of the Heaumers' Company, 1347 (City of London Letter 

Book F, cxlii) . . . . . . . 171 

C. Treatise of Worship in Arms, by Johan Hill, Armourer, 1434 (Bod. 

Lib., Ashmole. 856, art. 22, fol. 376) . . . .173 

D. Traite du Costume Militaire, 1446 (Du Costume Militaire des Fran^ais 

en 1446, Bib. Nat., Paris, 1997) . . . . . 177 

E. Extract from the Ordinances of the Armourers of Angers, etc., 1448 

(Ordonn. des Rois, XX, 156. Rev. d'Aquitaine, XII, 26. Arch, des B. 

Pyrenees, E, 302) . . . . . . i8o 




F. Expenses in the Royal Armouries, temp. Henry VIII (Brit. Mus., Cotton. 

App. XXVIII, f. 76) . . . . . .182 

G. Petition of Armourers to Queen Elizabeth (Lansdowne MS. 63, f. 5) • 184 

H. Undertaking of the Armourers' Company of London to supply Armour 

(Records of the Company, 161 8) . . . . .186 

I. Proclamation against the Use of Gold and Silver except in the Case 

OF Armour (State Papers Dom. Jac. I, cv) . . . .187 

J. Erection of Plating-mills at Erith (State Papers Dom. Jac. I, clxxx) . 188 

K. Regulations as to the Hall-mark of the Armourers' Company (Rymer, 

XIX, 314) . . . . . . . 191 

L. Petition of Armourers (State Papers Dom. Car. 1, cclxxxix, 93) . .192 

M. Extract from the Survey of the Tower Armoury, 1660 (Brit. Mus., 

Harl. MS. 7457) . . . . . . 193 

Index ...... . . 195 



1. Diagram showing the "glancing surface" , . . ... 4 

2. Diagram showing the position of the lance in jousting, from Arch. Journ., LV. . . . 5 

3. Pauldrons on the statue of Colleoni, Venice, and of a Missaglia suit in the WafFensammlung, 

Vienna (Plate II) . . . . . ^ . . 6 

4. The solleret, practical and unpractical . . . . ... 6 

5. Horse-armour . . . . . . ... 8 

6. Harnischmeister Albrecht, from a painting in the Arsenal, Vienna . . . . 9 

7. Cuissard for the off hock of a horse. Musee Porte de Hal, Brussels . . . . 10 

8. Arms of the Armourers' Gild, Florence. From the Church of Or San Michele . . . 14 

9. S. George, by Hans Multscher, 1458. Augsburg . . . . . , 14 

10. Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, arming. Brit. Mus., Cott., Jul., E, IV, fol. 12 b . . 15 

11. The Westminster helm . . . . . ... 17 

12. The Brocas helm . . . . . . ... 17 

13. The Fogge helm . . . . . . . . . 17 

14. The Barendyne helm . . . . . ... 17 

15. The Mail-maker, from Jost Amman's Statide und Ha/idwerker, circ. 1 590 . . .23 

16. The Armourer, from the same source as the above . . ... 24 

17. Burring-machine or "jenny," from the picture by Breughel given on the frontispiece . . 36 

18. Method of making mail, from Arch. Journ., XXXVII . . ... 45 

19. Representations of double and single mail, from the effigy of Robert de Mauley, formerly in 

York Minster, Archaologia, XXXI . . . . ... 45 

20. The coif of mail, from the effigy of William, Earl of Pembroke, Temple Church, and an 

unnamed effigy in Pershore Church, Worcs, after Fairholt . . . . 46 

21. Attachment of the camail, from the effigy of Sir R. Pembridge, Clehonger Church, Hereford . 46 

22. Attachment of the camail reconstructed . . . ... 46 

23. Suggested arrangement of "banded" mail, from Arch. Journ., XXXVII, figure from Romance 

of Alexander, Paris, Bib. Nat., circ. 1 240, and the effigy at Newton Solney, Derbs. . . 47 

24. Foot-soldier wearing a jack, from the Chasse of S. Ursula^ by Memling, 1475-1485. Bruges . 49 

25. Construction of jack, from Arch. Journ., XXXVII . . ... 50 

26. Brigandine in the WafFensammlung, Vienna, No. 130 . . . . , 50 

27. Detail from the picture of S. Victor and donor, by Van der Goes, Glasgow . . -51 

28. Effigy in Ash Church, Kent, XIV cent. . . . . . . 51 

29. Statue of S. George at Prague, 1375 . . . . ... 51 

30. The sliding rivet . . . . . . ... 52 

31. Sections of brassards in the Tower . . . . ... 54 

32. Locking gauntlet of Sir Henry Lee. Armourers' Hall, London . . • • 55 
33' Locking hooks, turning pins, and strap cover . . . ... 55 

34. Bracket for jousting-sallad. Dresden, C, 3, 4 . . . . • • 57 

35. Detail showing proof mark on the breast of suit of Louis XIV. Paris, G, 125 . . .69 




36. Proof marks on a brigandine plate in the Darmstadt Museum . . . . 71 

37- Poleynes on the brass of Sir Robert de Bures, Acton, Suffolk, 1 302 . . . . 74 

38. Beinbergs on the statue of Guigliemo Berardi, 1289, in the Cloisters of the Church of the 74 

Annunziata, Florence . . . . . ... 

39. Brass of an unknown knight at Laughton, Lines, 1400 . . ... 75 

40. Pourpointed cuisses, from the brass of Sir John de Argentine, Horseheath Church, Cambs, 1360 83 

41. Padded horse-armour, from King Rene's Traicte d'un Tournois . . . . 85 

42. Padded "harnische-kappe" and helm showing the attachment of the cap, after DUrer . . 89 

43. Sallad-cap, from a picture by Paolo Morando, 1486-1522, No. 571. Uffizi Gallery, Florence . 89 

44. Helmet-cap, from a XVI-cent. engraving of Jacob Fugger . . ... 89 

45. Detail of eyelet coats, XVI-XVII cent. Musee d'Artillerie and Musee Cluny, Paris . . 91 

46. Sallad with cover, from a XVI-cent. engraving . . . ... 93 

47. Cuirass, from the sketch-book of Willars de Honecourt, XIII cent. . . . . 96 

48. Leather gauntlet, XVII cent. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford . . . . 96 

49. Brassard of leather and cord for the tourney, from King Rene's Traicte d'un Tournois . . 97 

50. Leather and steel hat of Bradshaw the regicide. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford . . . 99 

51. Stripping the dead, from the Bay eux Tapestry . . . . . . I05 

52. Knight arming, from the Livre des Nobles Femmes, Bib. Nat., Paris, XIV cent. . . .105 

53. Brass of Sir John de Creke, 1325, Westley Waterless, Cambs. . ... 106 

54. Arming-points, from the portrait of a navigator. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford . . . 108 

55. Attachment of brassard, from the portrait of the Due de Nevers. Hampton Court Palace . 108 

56. Moton attached by points. Harl. MS. 4826 . . . ... 109 

57. Arming-points on the foot, from a picture of S. Demetrius by Ortolano. National Gallery, 

London . . . . . . ... 109 

58. Sixteenth-century suit of plate with the several parts named in English, French, German, 

Italian, and Spanish . . . . . . . . Iio 

59. Attachment of jousting-helms to the cuirass . . . . . . II2 

60. Side view of the above . . . . . . . . 112 

61. The armourer in the lists. Heralds' Coll., MS. M, 6, fol. 56 . . . -113 

62. Arms of the Armourers' Company of London . . . ... 120 

63. Design on a gauntlet of the suit made for Henry, Prince of Wales, by William Pickering, circ. 

161 1. Windsor Castle . . . . . ... 122 

64. Mark of Bernardino Cantoni on a brigandine, C, 1 1. Real Armeria, Madrid . . -133 

65. Detail of shield by Desiderius Colman (Plate XXIV) . . . . . 135 

66. Capital formerly in the Via degli Spadari, Milan, showing the mark of the Missaglia family . 138 

67. Design on the left cuisse of Henry VIII's suit, made by Conrad Seusenhofer. Tower of 

London, II, 5 . . . . . . ... 141 

68. Design by Jacobe Topf for gauntlet and armet of Sir Henry Lee, from the Armourer's Album. 

Victoria and Albert Museum . . . . ... 146 

69. Design on the breast of Sir Henry Lee's suit by Topf. Armourers' Hall, London . .146 




Venus at the Forge of Vulcan, by Jan Breughel and Hendrik van Balen, circ. 1600. Kaiser 

Friedrich Museum, Berlin . . . . . . Frontispiece 


I, Armour for the " Stechzeug," XV-XVI cent. Germanische Museum, Nuremberg . 

II. Armour of the fifteenth century exemplified by the efiigy of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of 
Warwick, S. Mary's Church, Warwick, cast by Bartholomew Lambspring and Will 
Austin, circ. I454> from Blore's Monumental Retnains. S. George, by Andrea Mantegna, 
1431-1506, Accademia, Venice. Armour of Roberto di Sanseverino, by Antonio da 
Missaglia, circ. 1480 ; Waffensammlung, Vienna, No. 3 . ... 8 

III, A Contrast. Armour of Count Sigismond of Tirol, 1427-1496 ; Waffensammlung, Vienna, 

No. 41. Armour of Louis XIV, by Garbagnus, 1668 ; Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, 125 12 

IV. Armourers at work, Brit. Mus., Roy. MS. 16, G, v, fol. 1 1. Wood-carving of Duke 

William of Aquitaine, XV cent., S. William's Church, Strasburg. Venus and Vulcan, 
XIII cent., Kbnigl. Bib., Berlin, Codex MS. Germ., fol. 282, p. 79 . . . 16 

V. Anvils in the British Museum (Burges Bequest) and in the possession of Mme. Bellon, 

Avignon . . . . . . ... 20 

VI. The Workshop of Conrad Seusenhofer, from the IVeisz KUnig, by Hans Burgmair, 1 525 . 24 

VII. Armour of Kurfiirst Moritz, by Matthaus Frauenpreis, 1548. Kbnigl. Hist. Museum, 

Dresden, G, 39 . . . . . ... 28 

VIIL Armour of Henry VIII for fighting on foot in the lists. Tower of London, II, 28 . • 32 

IX. Italian brassard (front and back), cuisse, 1470 ; Ethnological Museum, Athens. Inside of 

leg-armour of suit shown on Plate VIII . . . ... 36 

X. Helmets of Henry VIII ; Tower of London. (1, 2) Made by one of the Missaglia family ; 

II, 29. (3, 4) Made by Conrad Seusenhofer, 1514. (5) Bevor for the latter; II, 5. The 

last three numbers form part of the suit shown on Plate XII . . . .40 

XI. Brigandine (inside and outside), XV cent. ; Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, 204, 205. Breast- 

plate of a brigandine, 1470 ; Ethnological Museum, Athens. Right cuisse of suit for 
fighting on foot in the lists, early XVI cent. ; Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, 178 . . 44 

XII. " Engraved Suit," by Conrad Seusenhofer, presented to Henry VIII by the Emperor 

Maximilian I, 1 5 14. Tower of London, 11,5 • • • . . 48 

XIII. Helmet of Sir Henry Lee, by Jacobe Topf, 1530-I597. Tower of London, IV, 29 . -52 

XIV. Armour of King Sebastian of Portugal, by Anton PefFenhauser, 1525-1603. Pageant 

armour of Charles V, by Bartolomeo Campi, 1546. Real Armeria, Madrid, A, 290, 188 . 56 

XV. Alegoria del Tacto, by Jan Breughel. Prado, Madrid . . ... 60 

XVI. Venetian sallad, XVI cent. ; Bayerischen National Museum, Munich. Back-platc of a 
brigandine, 1470 ; Ethnological Museum, Athens. Morion, XVI-XVII cent. ; Stibbert 
Collection, Florence. Surcoat of the Black Prince ; Canterbury Cathedral . . . 64 

XVII. Cast of ivory chessman, XIV cent. The original of this was in the possession of the Rev. J. 

Eagles in 1856, but has since disappeared. Ivory mirror-case showing squires arming 
their masters, XIV cent. Carrand Collection, Museo Nationale, Florence . . . 68 





XVIII. Portraits of two unknown noblemen, by Moroni, 1510-1578, showing the arming- 
doublet and mail sleeves. National Gallery, London . . . . 72 

XIX. Helm for fighting on foot in the lists, XVI cent. It formerly hung over the tomb of 
Sir Giles Capel, in Raynes Church, Essex, and was sold as old iron to Baron de Cosson, 
from whom it passed to the collection of the Due de Dino, and from thence to the 
Metropolitan Museum, New York, Arming a knight for combat in the lists, from 
a MS. of the XV cent., in the possession of Lord Hastings . . . . 76 

XX. Armour of Henry, Prince of Wales, son of James I, by William Pickering, 1591-1630, 

Master of the Armourers' Company of London. Royal Armoury, Windsor Castle . 80 

XXI. Suit of "puffed and slashed" armour, circ 1520J formerly in the Meyrick Collection; 

Wallace Collection, No. 380. Tonlet suit for fighting on foot in the lists, by Conrad 
Lochner, 1510-1567; Musee d'ArtlUerie, Paris, G, 182. Armour of Ruprecht von 
der Pfalz, circ. 1515 » WafFensammlung, Vienna, No. 198 . . . . 84 

XXII. Gauntlets. (1, 2) Left and right hand gauntlets, probably by Jacobe Topf, 1530-1597; 

Tower, II, 10. (3) Bridle gauntlet of James I; Tower, II, 24. (4) Left-hand gauntlet, 
XV cent.; Madrid, E, 87. (5) Locking gauntlet, XVI cent. ; Tower, III, 59. (6) Left- 
hand bridle gauntlet, XVI cent. ; Tower, III, 95. (7) Left-hand gauntlet of Kurfiirst 
Christian II, by Heinrich Knopf, circ. 1 590 ; Dresden, E, 7. (8) Left-hand gauntlet for 
fighting on foot at barriers, XVI cent. ; Tower, III, 58. (9) Gorget of Kurfiirst Johann 
Georg II, showing the Garter badge and motto, by Jacob Joringk, 1 669 ; Dresden, D, 29 88 

XXIII. Armour for horse and man, middle of XV cent. Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, i . . 92 

XXIV. Pageant shield, by Desiderius Colman, 1 554. Real Armeria, Madrid, A, 24 1 . . 96 

XXV. Drawing by Jacobe Topf, 1530-1597, No. 15 in the Album in the Art Library, Victoria 

and Albert Museum, London . . . . ... loo 

XXVI. Armour of Sir Christopher Hatton ; formerly in the Spitzer Collection, now in the Royal 

Armoury, Windsor Castle . . . . ... loo 

XXVII. Drawing by Jacobe Topf, from the same source as Plate XXV, 18 in the Album . .104 

XXVIII. Armour of Sir John Smith, by Jacobe Topf. Tower of London, II, 12 . . . 104 

XXIX. (1) Armet, middle of the XVI cent.; Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, H, 89. (2) Armet, 
engraved and gilt with heavy reinforcing plates on the left side, end of XVI cent. ; 
Paris, H, 108. (3) Helm from the tomb of Sir Richard Pembridge, Hereford Cathedral, 
circ. 1360. It was given by the Dean of Hereford to Sir Samuel Meyrick, and passed 
from him to Sir Noel Paton, and is now in the Museum at Edinburgh. (4) Parade 
casque, after Negroli, middle of XVI cent. ; Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, H, 253. 
(5) Sallad, by one of the Negroli family, end of XV cent. ; Real Armeria, Madrid, D, 13 I08 

XXX. Armour of Friedrich des Siegreichen, by Tomaso da Missaglia, circ. 1450; WafFensamm- 
lung, Vienna, No. 2. Armour, circ. 1460 ; Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, 5 . .112 

XXXL Portrait medal of Coloman Colman (Helmschmied), 1470-1532. Designs for saddle steel 

and visor, by Albert Dlirer, 151 7, from the Albertina, Vienna . . . .116 


The author desires to express his thanks for permission to reproduce 
illustrations contained in this work to the following : — 

Viscount Dillon, Curator of the Tower Armouries ; Mr. Guy 
Laking, m.v.o., King's Armourer ; M. Charles Buttin, Paris ; Mr. 
Albert Calvert, London ; The Society of Antiquaries ; The Archso- 
logical Institute ; The Burlington Fine Arts Club ; The Curators of 
the Musee d'Artillerie, Paris ; and of the Johanneum, Dresden ; Messrs. 
Mansell and Co., Hanfstaengl, Griggs and Co., London ; Sgi. Fratelli 
Alinari, Florence ; Sig. Anderson, Rome ; Herren Teufel, Munich ; 
Lowy, Vienna (publishers of Boeheim's Waffensamtnlungeti) ; Moeser, 
Berlin (publishers of Boeheim's Meister der Waffenschmiedkujist) ; 
Christof Miiller, Nuremberg ; Seeman, Leipzig (publishers of 
Boeheim's Waffenkunde) ; and Sen. Hauser and Menet, Madrid. 


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Dillon, Viscount : — 

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„ LI. Trial of Armour. 1590. 

,, LVII. Ordinances of Chivalry, XV cent. 

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,, ,, XL VI. The Pasguard and the Volant Piece. 
,, ,, LI. An Elizabethan Armourer's Album, 1590. 
,, ,, LV. Tilting in Tudor Times. 
,, ,, LX. Armour Notes. 
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„ ,, LXIX. Horse Armour. 
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Porte de Hal, Brussels ; Historische Museum, Dresden ; Ashmolean and Pitt-Rivers Museums, Oxford ; 
British Museum ; etc. etc. 

Articles in various Journals and Periodicals by Viscount Dillon, Baron de Cosson, Burgess, Waller, Way, 
Meyrick, Hewitt, ffiaulkes, Boeheim, Angellucci, Beaumont, Buttin, Yriarte, Giraud. 

Various MSS. from the British Museum ; Bib. Nat., Paris ; Kbnigl. Bibliothek, Berlin ; Bodleian 
Library ; etc. etc. 

^0 pff ibit EftooD^ tfjan no toer toare 

Lydgate, The hors, the shepe Ifj the gosse, line 127 




THE importance of the craft of the armourer in the Middle 
Ages can hardly be overestimated, for it is, to a large extent, 
to the excellence of defensive armour and weapons that we owe 
much of the development of art and craftsmanship all over Europe. 
The reason for this somewhat sweeping statement is to be found in the 
fact that up to the sixteenth century the individual and the personal 
factor were of supreme importance in war, and it was the individual 
whose needs the armourer studied. In the days when military organiza- 
tion was in its infancy, and the leader was endowed by his followers 
with almost supernatural qualities, the battle was often won by the 
prowess of the commander, or lost by his death or disablement. It 
would be tedious to quote more than a few instances of this importance 
of the individual in war, but the following are typical of the spirit 
which pervaded the medieval army. 

At the battle of Hastings, when William was supposed to have been 
killed he rallied his followers by lifting his helmet and riding through 
the host crying, "I am here and by God's grace I shall conquer!" 
The success of Joan of Arc need hardly be mentioned, as it is an 
obvious example of the change which could be effected in the spirit of 
an army by a popular leader. This importance of the individual was 
realized by the leaders themselves, and, as a safeguard, it was often the 
custom to dress one or more knights like the sovereign or commander 

to draw off the attack. At Bosworth field Richmond had more than 


one knight who personated him ; Shakespeare gives the number as five, 
for Richard says, "There be six Richmonds in the field ; five have I 
slain instead of him." 

When the importance of the leader is realized it v^ill be obvious 
that the craft of the man who protected him in battle was of the utmost 
importance to the State ; and when once this is admitted, we may 
fairly consider that, in an age of ceaseless wars and private raids, the 
importance of all the other applied arts which followed in the train of 
a victorious leader depended to a very great extent on the protection 
afforded him by his armourer/ 

It would be indeed superfluous to dwell upon the artistic influences 
which may be traced directly to the military operations of the Assyrians, 
Greeks, Romans, and at a later date the Northern tribes of Europe, 
for every writer on the subject bases his opinions upon this foundation. 
In more modern periods the conquest of Spain by the Moors introduced 
a type of design which has never been wholly eradicated from Spanish 
Art, and in our own country the Norman Conquest gave us a dignified 
strength of architecture which would never have been established as a 
national phase of art if the victory had been to Harold and the English. 
The improvements in the equipment and military organization of the 
foot-soldier in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries necessitated 
a more complete style of defensive armour for the mounted man, and 
the elaborate leg armour of plate may be directly traced to the improve- 
ment in the weapons of the former. As is the case at the present day 
in the navy, the race between weapon and defence was ceaseless, each 
improvement of the one being met by a corresponding improvement 
in the other, till the perfection of the firearm ruled any form of defence 
out of the competition. More peaceful influences were at work, 
however, due to the interchange of visits between European princes ; 
and German and Italian fashions of armour, as well as of the other 
applied arts, competed with each other all over Europe, though their 
adoption may generally be traced to a ruler of note like Maximilian or 
Charles V. 

So without undue exaggeration we may fairly claim for the craft 
of the armourer a foremost place as one of the chief influences in the 

^ See Regulations of the " Heaumers," Appendix B, p. 171. 



evolution of modern art and, as such, an important factor in the develop- 
ment of all the arts which follow in the train of conquest. 

There are certain essential rules which must be observed in the 
practice of every craft ; but in most cases only one or two are necessary 
for the production of good work, because of the limitations either of 
the craft or of the needs of those for whom it is practised. It would 
be out of place to go through the various applied arts and to consider 
^ the rules which guide them ; but, on examination of these rules as they 
apply to the craft of the armourer, it will be seen how each and all 
are essential for the production of satisfactory work. 

The rules are these : — 

1. Suitability for purpose. 

2. Convenience in use. 

3. Recognition of material. 

4. Soundness of constructional methods. 

5. Subservience of decoration to the preceding rules. 

It may be advantageous to examine these rules one by one and 
see how they are observed to the full in the best specimens of armour 
and how their neglect produced inferior work. 

I . Suitability for purpose. — The object of defensive armour was 
to protect the wearer from attack of the most powerful weapon in use 
at the period when it was made. This was obtained not only by 
thickness of metal, but also by so fashioning the planes of the metal 
that they presented a " glancing surface " to the blow. An early 
example of this consideration of the needs of the wearer is to be found 
in the first additions of plate to the suit of mail which were made in 
the leg armour of the thirteenth century (Fig. 38). The reason for this 
was the increased efficacy of the weapons of the foot-soldier, who 
naturally attacked the legs of the mounted man. The use of mail was 
far from practical, except in the form of gussets or capes, which could 
not be made so conveniently in plate. The mail armour of the thirteenth 
century was only a partial protection, for although it defended the 
wearer from arrows and from sword-cut or lance-thrust, it was but 
little protection against the bruise of the blow, even when, as was always 


the case, a padded garment was worn underneath. Up to the sixteenth 
century the shield was used for this reason and provided a smooth 
movable surface which the knight could oppose to the weapon and thus 
present a glancing surface to the blow. 

An examination of a suit of armour of the fifteenth century will 
show how this glancing surface was studied in every part. The lames 
of the arm-pieces are overlapped downwards so that the blow might 
slip off, and the elbow-cop presents a smooth rounded surface which 
will direct the blow off the arm of the wearer. The breastplate, which 
was at first simply smooth and rounded, became in the sixteenth century 
fluted ; and a practical experiment will show that when the thrust of a 
lance — the favourite weapon at that time — met one of these flutings it 
was directed to the strong ridge at neck or arm hole and thence off the 
body (Plate 30, 2). The upstanding neck-guards, wrongly called 
" passe-guards," were also intended to protect the weak part where 
helmet and gorget met. The fan-plate of the knee-piece protected 
the bend of the knee, especially when bent in riding, the normal position 
of the mounted man, and the sollerets were so fashioned that the foot 
was best protected when in the stirrup. 

The helm and helmet are especially good examples of the craft of 
the armourer in this respect. The early flat-topped helm of the thirteenth 

century was soon discarded^ 

because it was found that the 
full force of the downward 
blow was felt, which was not 
the case when the skull of 
the head-piece was pointed 
or rounded (Fig. i). A 
treatise on the subject of 
Military Equipment in the 
fifteenth century (Appendix 
D) distinctly enjoins that the 
" Et les autres ont la teste 


The "glancing- surface," 

rivets on the helm should be filed flat 
du clou limee aflin que le rochet ny prengne." This is not often 
found in existing helms, but the fact that it is mentioned shows that 
the smooth surface of the helm was an important consideration. In 




helms made for jousting these considerations were minutely studied 
by the armourer, for the object of jousters in the sixteenth century 
was simply to score points and not to injure each other. The 
occularium of the jousting-helm is narrow and is so placed that it is 
only of use when the wearer bends forward with his lance in rest. 
The lance was always pointed across the horse's neck and was directed 
to the left side of his opponent, therefore the left side of the helm is 
always smooth with no projection or opening (Fig. 2). These are found. 

— . i — — -i — 

Thr riitrr'! he^dj/l. /r^m Iht Till, 

TItf tanee \2/t. hattd toj'oiut. 

Thr ridtr-s h,ii,d jjl. Jroni Iht TM. 

Fig. 2. Position of lance in jousting {Arch. Jourti., LV). 

in cases where they occur, on the right side, where there would be no 
chance of their catching the lance-point. Again, the skull and front 
plate of the helm are generally thicker than those at the back, where 
there is no chance of a blow being delivered. 

2. Convenience in use. — Besides protecting the fighting man the 
armourer had to remember that his patron had to ride, sometimes to 
walk, and always to use his arms with convenience, and at the same time 
had to be protected while so doing. At first the cuirass was made simply 
in two pieces, the back and the front fastened under the arms with 
straps. In the middle of the fifteenth century each of these was made 
in two or more pieces joined with a rivet, working loose in a slot cut 
in the uppermost of the plates, so that a certain amount of movement 
of the torse was possible. The pauldrons, which often appear unneces- 
sarily large, almost meeting in front and, as is the case in the statue of 
Colleoni in Venice, crossing at the back, are so made that they would 
protect the armpit when the arm was raised in striking a blow (Fig. 3). 
The upper part of the arm-piece or rerebrace is made of overlapping 
lames held together by sliding rivets, which allow a certain amount of 
play outwards and forwards, but the defence becomes rigid if the arm 


is moved backwards, for this movement is not necessary in delivering a 
blow (see page 52). The arm and leg pieces are hinged with metal 
hinges on the outside of the limb and fastened with straps or hooks and 

Fig. 3. Back of Pauldrons of A. Statue of CoIIeoni, Venice. 

B. Missaglia Suit, Waffensammlung', Vienna. 

Staples on the inside. In most cases modern theatrical armour errs in 
this respect, for it is obvious that if the straps were on the outside the 
first object of the enemy would be to cut them and render the armour 
useless. The vambrace or cannon and the lower portion of the rere- 
brace are in single cylindrical plates, for here no movement is possible 
independently from the shoulder and elbow. The rerebrace, however, is 
generally formed with a collar which turns in a groove bossed out in the 
upper portion, so that the arm can turn outwards or inwards without 
moving the shoulder (see page 54). The cuisse and the front and back 
of the jamb are for the same reasons each made in one piece, joined to 

1 2 3 

Fig. 4. (i) The practical solleret at rest and (2) in action. 
(3) Unpractical solleret, late sixteenth century. 

the knee-cop and solleret by narrow lames working loose on rivets. The 
cuisse only covers the top part of the thigh for convenience on horse- 
back, and wherever a cuisse is found that protects the back of the thigh 



we may be sure that the owner fought on foot (Plate IX). The sol- 
leret is made so that the foot can move naturally in walking. The 
upper part is formed of small lames working on loose rivets and over- 
lapping downwards towards a centre-plate which covers the tread of 
the foot ; beyond this the toe-plates overlap upwards and thus perfect 
freedom of movement is obtained. 

The various forms of head-piece all more or less exemplify this need 
of convenience in use, for they protected the head and at the same time 
gave as much opportunity for seeing, hearing, and breathing as was com- '! 
patible with their defensive qualities. The armet or close helmet is 
perhaps the most ingenious, with its single or double visor, which could 
be lifted up so as to leave the face completely exposed till the moment 
of attack, when it was closed and fastened with a locking hook (Plate 
XIII). Examples of the armourer adapting his work to the require- 
ments of his patrons are to be found in the globose helm for fighting 
at barriers made by one of the Missaglia family (Tower, II, 29). Here 
the vision-slits were evidently found to be too large and too dangerous 
to the wearer. An inner plate was added with smaller holes through 
which no weapon used at barriers could penetrate (Plate X). A 
second example shown in Fig. 14 has a plate added at the lower edge 
to increase the height of the helm, which suggests that the last wearer 
had a longer neck than the original owner. This convenience in use 
is also to be noticed in the gauntlet, which, as the science of sword-play 
developed, was gradually discarded in favour of a defence formed of the 
portes or rings on the sword-hilt (Plate XXII). In jousting-armour 
there was only one position to be considered, namely, the position with 
hand on bridle and lance in rest. The armourer therefore strove to 
protect his patron when he assumed that position alone. The arm 
defences of jousting-armour with elbow-guard and poldermitton would 
be useless if the wearer had to raise his arm with a sword, but, when the 
lance was held in rest, the plates of the defences were so arranged that 
every blow slipped harmlessly off. As the right hand was protected 
with the large shield or vamplate fixed to the lance a gauntlet for this 
hand was frequently dispensed with, and, as the left hand was only 
employed to hold the reins, a semi-cylindrical plate protected the hand 
instead of the articulated gauntlet in use on the field of war (Plate I). 



Horse armour or " barding " was of necessity more cumbrous and 
but little was attempted beyond the covering of the vital parts of the 
body with plates or padded trappings (Fig. 5). Mail was used for the 

Fig. 5. Horse Armour, sixteenth century. 












arcade de devant 
arcade de derri^re 






brust panzer 
j mahnen panzer 
( kanze 

I sattel-knopf 


j krup panzer 
I lenden panzer 

schwanzriem panzer 

> flanken panzer 



I collo 

primo arcione 

j- secondo arcione 

I groppa 




pomo del arzon 





whole " bard " in the thirteenth century, as we know from the decora- 
tions in the "Painted Chamber" at Westminster.^ It was still in use for 
the neck-defence or "crinet" in the middle of the fifteenth century. 
Examples of the latter are to be found in Paris (Plate XXIII) and in the 

1 Vetusta Moftumenta, VI, and Armour arid Weapons, p. 88, C. ffoulkes. 




Wallace Collection, No. 620. Some attempt to make an articulated suit 
was evidently made ; for we have a portrait of Harnischmeister Albrecht 

Fig. 6. Harnischmeister Albrecht, 1480. 
From a painting in the Arsenal, Vienna. 

(1480) mounted on a horse whose legs are completely covered by articu- 
lated plates similar to those on human armour (Fig. 6). A portion of 
the leg-piece of this or of a similar suit is in the Musee Porte de Hal, 



Brussels (Fig. 7). Besides the obvious advantage of plate armour over 
mail for defensive purposes, it should be noted that in the former the 
weight is distributed over the body and limbs, while with the latter the 

whole equipment hangs from the shoulders, 
with possibly some support at the waist. 
Hence the movements of the mail-clad man 
were much hampered both by the weight of 
the fabric, and also by the fact that in bending 
the arm or leg the mail would crease in folds, 
and would thus both interfere with complete 
freedom and would probably produce a sore 
from chafing. 

3. Recognition of material.— It would 
seem at first sight superfluous to give ex- 

FiG. 7. Cuissard for the off hock 
of i 

Hal, Brussels, IV, g. 

of a horse. Mus^e Porte de amplcs of this whcu Considering armour ; 

but in the sixteenth century, when the crafts- 
man desired to show off his technical skill, we find many suits made to 
imitate the puffed and slashed velvets and silks of civilian dress. A 
notable example of this is to be found on the famous " Engraved Suit" 
made by Conrad Seusenhofer for Henry VIII in the Tower, in which 
the cloth bases" or skirts of civilian dress are imitated in metal (Plates 
XII, XXI). The human form, head and torse, were also counter- 
feited in metal in the sixteenth century, with no great success from the 
technical point of view. 

4. Soundness of constructional methods. — This rule is really 
contained in those that have preceded it, but some notice should be 
paid to the various methods of fastening different plates and portions of 
the suit together. There are many ingenious forms of turning hook and 
pin by which these plates can be joined or taken apart at will (page 55). 
The sliding rivet is one of the most important of these constructional 
details. The lower end of the rivet is burred over the back of the lower 
plate, and the upper plate has a slot cut of less width than the rivet-head, 
but sufliciently long to allow the plate to move backwards and forwards, 
generally from three-quarters to one inch (page 52). 

5. Subservience of decoration to the preceding rules. — The 
best suits are practically undecorated, but at the same time there are many 


which are ornamented with incised or engraved lines and gilding which 
do not detract from the utility of the armour. This last rule is best 
understood by examples of the breach rather than the observance ; so 
we may take the rules in order and see how each was broken during 
that period known as the Renaissance. 

(1) The " glancing surface " was destroyed by elaborate embossing, 
generally of meaningless designs, in which the point or edge of a 
weapon would catch. 

(2) The convenience was also impaired by the same methods, for 
the lames and different portions of the suit could not play easily one 
over the other if each had designs in high relief. Plates were set at 
unpractical angles, sometimes overlapping upwards, in which the weapon 
would catch and would not glance off We find that foot-armour 
was made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with the lames 
all overlapping upwards or downwards, and with no centre-plate for 
the tread. In the suit given to Henry, Prince of Wales, by the Prince 
de joinville in 1608 (Tower, II, 17) the lames of the solleret all over- 
lap downwards (see also Fig. 4). It will be obvious that with such a 
foot-covering it would be impossible to walk with ease. 

(3) The observance of this rule may be taken as a matter of course 
and its neglect has been noticed above. 

(4) The careless arrangement of the foot-armour, as mentioned in 
No. 2, is an example of the disregard of this rule. Another instance 
is the embossing the metal of various parts of the suit so as to simulate 
lames or separate plates. They do not ornament the suit and of course 
do not add to its convenience ; they merely create a false impression 
and save the craftsman some labour. The same may be said of the 
" clous perdus " or false rivets, which are found in late suits, doing no 
work in the construction of the suit, but giving an appearance of con- 
structional work which is lacking. 

(5) One has only to keep the above rules in mind and then to 
examine an embossed suit by Piccinino or Peffenhauser to see how this 
rule was broken to the detriment of the work as a good piece of crafts- 
manship, though perhaps the result may have increased the artistic 
reputation of the craftsman (Plate XIV). 

It should be noticed that the craftsman of the Renaissance, in spite 


of his disregard of the craft rules, did not deteriorate as a worker ; for 
some of the suits of the Negrolis or of the two above-mentioned armourers 
could hardly be equalled at the present day as specimens of metal-work. 
But his energies were directed into different channels and his reputation 
as an honest craftsman suffered. By the sixteenth century everything 
concerned with the defensive qualities and the constructional details of 
armour had been discovered and carried to a high pitch of perfection. 
The craftsman therefore had to find some way of exhibiting his dex- 
terity. Add to this the love of ostentation and display of his patron, 
one of the most noticeable traits of the so-called Renaissance, and we 
find that by degrees the old craft-excellence became neglected in the 
advertisement of the craftsman and the ostentation of his patron. 

In dealing with the first rule no mention was made of the defensive 
qualities of armour against firearms, and this from the middle of the six- 
teenth century was an important detail in the craft of the armourer. The 
glancing surface was of some use ; but the armed man could not afford 
to take chances. So his equipment was made to resist a point-blank shot 
of pistol or arquebus. This will be noticed with details as to the proof 
of armour on page 65. It was the fact that armour was proof against 
firearms which led to its disuse, and not that it was of no avail against 
them, as is the generally accepted idea. The armourer proved his work 
by the most powerful weapons in use, and by so doing found that he 
had to increase the weight of metal till it became insupportable (see 
page 117). 

In the days when travelling was difficult and the difficulties of trans- 
portation great, both on account of the condition of the roads and also 
because of the insecurity of life and property, due to national and 
personal wars, it was but natural that each country and district should 
be in a large measure self-supporting, especially with respect to armour 
and weapons. At the same time, by degrees, some localities produced 
superior work, either because they possessed natural resources or because 
some master founded a school with superior methods to those of his 
neighbours. Thus we find Milan famous for hauberks, Bordeaux^ for 
swords, Colin cleeves (Cologne halberds), Toulouse swords, misericordes 
of Versy, chapeaux de Montauban (steel hats), Barcelona bucklers, 

^ Haute Savoye, near Aix-les-Bains. 



ARMOUR OK LOUIS XIV, liV t;A RliAl ;N AUS, linis 



arbalests of Catheloigne, and of course swords of Solingen, Toledo, 
and Passau. 

The principal centres for the making of armour were Italy and ' 
Germany, and it is quite impossible to say which of the two was the 
superior from the craftsman's point of view. If anything, perhaps the 
German school favoured a rather heavier type of equipment, due, no 
doubt, to the natural characteristics of the race as compared with the 
Italian, and also, when the decadence of armour began, perhaps the 
German armourer of the Renaissance erred more in respect of useless 
and florid ornamentation than did his Italian rival. But even here the 
types are so similar that it is almost impossible to discriminate. France 
produced no great armourers, at least we have no records of craft-j 
princes such as the Colmans, the Seusenhofers, the Missaglias, or the' 
Negrolis, and the same may be said of England. We have isolated 
examples here and there of English and French work, but we have no 
records of great schools in either country like those of Milan, Brescia, 
Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Innsbruck. A few scattered entries from 
state or civic documents will be found under the various headings of 
this work and portions of regulations respecting the trade ; but of the 
lives of the craftsmen we know but little. At a time when personal 
safety in the field was of the utmost importance, it can be easily under- 
stood that the patron would take no risks, but would employ for choice 
those craftsmen who held the highest repute for their work, just as till 
recently the prospective motorist or airman would not risk a home-made 
machine, but patronized French makers. It may seem strange that the 
local craftsmen did not attempt to improve their work when examples 
of foreign skill were imported in great quantities ; but against this we 
must set the fact that the detail of the first importance in the craft of 
the armourer was the tempering of the metal and this the craftsman 
kept a close secret. We have various accounts of secret processes, 
miraculous springs of water, poisoned ores, and such-like which were 
employed, fabulously no doubt, to attain fine temper for the metal, 
but no details are given. It may be that the metal itself was superior 
in some districts, as witness the Trial of Armour given on page 66. 
Seusenhofer when provided with inferior metal from the mines by 
Kugler suggested that it should be classed as "Milanese," a clear proof 


Fig. 8. Arms of the Ar- 
mourers' Gild, from 
the church of Or San 
Michele, Florence. 

that the German craftsmen, at any rate, considered the ItaUan material to 
be inferior to their own. Little is known as to the production of the 

Florentine armourers. Mr. Staley in his Guilds of 
Florence has unfortunately found little of importance 
under this heading in the civic records of the city. 

The "Corazzi e spadai" of Florence will, how- 
ever, be always known by their patron S. George, 
whose statue by Donatello stood outside the gild 
church of Or San Michele. At the base of the 
niche in which it stood are carved the arms given 
in Fig. 8. 

Armourers were im- 
ported by sovereigns and 
princes to produce armour 
for their personal use and thus to avoid the diffi- 
culties of transit, but they seem to have kept 
their craft to themselves and to have founded 
no school. Henry VIII brought over the 
" Almain Armourers " to Greenwich at the 
beginning of his reign, but most of them went 
back in time to their own country, and few 
took out denization papers. In 1624 we find 
that only one of the descendants of these 
foreigners was left and he resolutely refused to 
teach any one the "mysterie of plating" (page 
188). A colony of armourers migrated from 
Milan to Arbois towards the end of the 
fifteenth century, but no celebrated craftsmen 
seem to have joined them except the Merate 
brothers, who worked for Maximilian and Mary 
of Burgundy. It is difficult, in fact impossible, 
to say which country led in the beginnings of 
the armourer's craft. We have the suit of 
Roberto di Sanseverino (Vienna, Waffensamm- 
lung. No. 3) signed with the mark of Antonio Missaglia, circ. 1470, and 
we also have a statuette by Hans Multscher at Augsburg, circ, 1458, 

Fig. 9. S. George, by Hans 
Multscher, 1458, Augsburg, 



which represents S. George in a suit of armour of precisely the same 
design (Fig. 9). It should be noted, however, that the treatment of this 
figure shows a strong Italian influence. In European history of the 
fifteenth century we have few records of German armourers being 
employed, during the first half, at any rate, by the rulers of other states. 
We know that Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, travelled in Italy 
and wore armour of a distinctly Italian style, for it is depicted in the 
Beauchamp Pageants (Fig. 10) and is also shown on his magnificent 
monument in S. Mary's Church, Warwick. The likeness of the 
armour on this monument to that shown in the picture of S. George, 
by Mantegna, in the Accademia, Venice, is so 
striking that we are bound to admit that the two 
suits must have been produced by the same master, 
and on comparison with the suit in Vienna above 
alluded to, that master must have been one of 
the Missaglia family. The Earl of Warwick died 
in 1439 and Mantegna was born about 143 1, 
so that it is quite possible that the former pur- 
chased a suit of the very latest fashion when in 
Italy, and that the latter, realizing the beauty 
of work produced when he was but a boy, 
used a similar suit as a model for his picture 
(Plate II). As early as 1398 the Earl of Derby 
had armour brought over to England by 
Milanese armourers, and by the year 1427 Milan 
had become such an important factory town that 
it supplied in a few days armour for 4000 cavalry 
and 2000 infantry. 

The impetus given to the craft in Germany was due to the interest 
of the young Emperor Maximilian, who encouraged not only the 
armourer, but every other craftsman and artist in his dominions. In 
the Weisz Kilnig we find him teaching the masters of all crafts how 
best to do their own work, though this is probably an exaggeration of 
the sycophantic author and illustrator. Still we are forced to admit 
that the crafts in Germany attained to a very high level during his 
reign. In the description of his visit to Conrad Seusenhofer, the armourer. 

Fig. 10. Richard Beau- 
champ, Earl of War- 
wick (Cot. Jul. E, IV, 
F, 12 b). 


it is recorded that the latter wished to employ certain devices of his 
own in the making of armour, to which the young Emperor replied, 
"Arm me according to my own wish, for it is I and not you who will 
take part in the tournament." From Germany came armour presented 
by the Emperor to Henry VIII, and it is clear that such a master as 
Seusenhofer, working so near the Italian frontier as Innsbruck, must 
have influenced the Milanese work, just as the Milanese in the first 
instance influenced the German craftsmen. With the succession of 
Charles V to the thrones of Spain and Germany we find a new impetus 
given to German armourers. In Spain there seems to have been a 
strong feeling in favour of Milanese work, and the contest between the 
two schools of craftsmen was bitter in the extreme. So personal did 
this feud become that we find Desiderius Colman in 1552 making a 
shield for Charles V on which the maker is represented as a bull 
charging a Roman soldier on whose shield is the word " Negrol," a 
reference to the rivalry between the Colmans and the Negrolis of Milan 
(Plate XXIV). With the demand for decorated armour the rivalry 
between the two centres of trade increased, and there is little to choose 
between the works of the German and Italian craftsmen, either in the 
riotous incoherence of design or in the extraordinary skill with which 
it was produced and finished. 

From entries in the State Papers preserved in the Record Office, it 
would seem that Milanese armourers were employed by Henry VIII 
during the first years of his reign. By the year 15 15 the Almain or 
German armourers from Brussels had evidently taken their place, for 
they are entered as king's servants with liveries. Only one Milanese 
name is found in the list of armourers, Baltesar BuUato, 1532, so that 
it is clear that Henry, owing, no doubt, to the influence of Maximilian, 
had definitely committed himself to German armour as opposed to 
Italian. England seems to have remained faithful to this German 
influence, but her rulers and nobles never indulged in the exaggerated 
and over- elaborate productions which held favour in Spain and Germany, 
a fact which is noticeable even at the present day, when the so-called 
"Art Nouveau" disfigures many German and Italian cities but has never 
obtained a serious foothold in England. Simplicity and practicality 
were always the chief features in English armour. The few known 






Fig. 13. The Fogge Helm, Ashford, Sussex. 
24 lb. 

Fig. 14. The Barendyne Helm, Great Haseley* 
Oxon. 13 lb. 8 oz. 


specimens of English work of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth 
centuries, the jousting-helms at Westminster, Woolwich, Ashford, 
Petworth, and the Wallace Collection, are examples of this, and the 
armour of later years has the same qualification (Figs, ii— 14). Even 
the suits of Topf, who worked in England at the end of the sixteenth 
century and produced the magnificent work that is shown at the Tower, 
Windsor, and elsewhere, the designs for which are contained in an album 
in the Art Library at South Kensington, are marked by a restraint 
which is not found in the works of Piccinino and Peffenhauser. The 
decoration never impairs the utility of the armour, and the designs are 
always those suitable for work in tempered steel, and are not in any 
way suggestive of the goldsmith's work of his foreign contemporaries. 
In the English national collections we have but little eccentric armour, 
which is so common in Continental museums; all is severe and yet 
graceful, practical even if decorated, a tribute to the characteristics of 
the English race of fighting men. 

The ornamentation of armour with gilding had obtained such a firm 
hold that in the seventeenth century James II was obliged to make an 
exception in its favour in his proclamation against the use of ''gold and 
silver foliate," an extract of which is given in Appendix I, page 187. 
In discussing the craft of the armourer it should be remembered that 
we can only base our conclusions on the scattered entries of payments, 
inventories, and other documents in State or private collections, and by 
examination of suits which have been preserved in the armouries and 
collections of Europe and England. These suits represent but a very 
small percentage of the large stores of armour of all kinds which must 
have been in existence at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and 
it is only the fine and exceptional examples which have survived. The 
material was so costly in the making that it was made and remade over 
and over again ; which will account for the absence of complete suits of 
the fourteenth century and the scarcity of those of the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries now in existence. Occasionally we have local collec- 
tions which give us a suggestion of what the standing armoury must 
have been, such as the armour stores at Gratz, Zurich, the collection 
of helmets and armour found in the castle of Chalcis,^ and village 

1 Charles fFoiilkes " Iralian Armour at Chalcis," Archaologia, LXII, 



armouries like that at Mendlesham, Suffolk. Two examples of the 
treatment of armour must suffice. In the Inventory of the Tower, 
taken in 33 Hen. VI, 1455, is the entry: " Item viij habergeons some 
of Meleyn and some of Westewale of the which v of Melyn were 
delyv'ed to the College of Eyton and iij broken to make slewys and 
voyders and ye's." Here clearly the hauberk is cut up and used to 
make sleeves and gussets, which were more useful when the complete 
plate body-defences had come into fashion than the shirt of mail. This 
is also another example of the competition between Milan and Germany 
(Westphalia) in the matter of armour-making. As an example of the 
other reason for the absence of armour in national and private collec- 
tions in any great quantities, we may cite Hearne's account of his visit 
to Ditchley, given in his Remains under the date 1 7 1 8. He says : In 
one of the outhouses I saw strange armour which belonged to the 
ancestors^ of the Earl of Litchfield, some of the armour very old." 
In the steward's accounts of but a few weeks later Viscount Dillon has 
discovered an entry, " received of Mr. Mott, the brazier for the old 
armour wayed i^cwt. i qr. 21 lb. at los. the cwt. ^7. 4. 6." The 
saddles had been previously cut up to nail up the fruit trees.^ From 
the weight of armour sold there were probably about twenty suits, some 
of which must certainly have been of value, possibly one or more of 
the missing suits designed by Topf for Sir Henry Lee and illustrated 
in the Almain Armourer s Albiitn now in the South Kensington Art 
Library. It can be readily understood that when the historic or artistic 
value of armour was not appreciated it was a cumbrous and useless 
possession, which soon deteriorated if not kept clean and bright, and 
therefore it was melted down just as are the broken stoves and domestic 
ironmongery which litter the rubbish-heaps to-day. We find interesting 
examples of the application of munitions of war to peaceful purposes in 
the use of sword-pommels as weights for steelyards, helmets for buckets 
and scale-bowls, and portions of body armour cut up and fashioned into 
lock-covers in the Stibbert Museum, Florence, in the collection of the 
Marchese Peruzzi, and elsewhere.'^ Even as late as the year 1887 the 
value of armour was not realized, for in that year two half-suits, stamped 

* Sir Henry Lee. ^ jirch. Jourtu, June, 1 895. 

^ Sir Thomas Gresham^s steelyard in the London Museum is decorated with portions of sword hihs. 


with the college mark, were sold from New College, Oxford, as old iron 
{^tArms and Arjnour m Oxford^ C. ffoulkes). 

State and civic records have frequent entries of regulations and 
disputes connected with the various craft-gilds, and the armourers 
were no exception. The right of search was a privilege jealously 
guarded, for it prevented the competition of those outside the gild and 
was also a check against foreign competition, which was always a thorn 
in the side of the armourer. Every country enacted laws against im- 
portation of arms, and yet for really fine work every country had to 
look to Italy or Germany. But this was probably the case only among 
the richest, and it is the elaborate workmanship on the armour which 
has ensured the survival of many suits of this type. The ordinary 
hosting or war-harness was made quite as well in England as elsewhere ; 
just as the Englishwoman of to-day can be dressed as well in London 
as in Paris ; but, if she can afford it, elects to pay large sums for the 
cachet of the Parisian name. With regard to the documents bearing 
on the life of individual armourers, we have such records as wills, registers 
of baptisms and marriages, and also trade accounts and bills. In the latter 
the armourer seems to have been no better off than the painter or 
sculptor of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He was always in 
financial difficulties and was ceaselessly pressing his patron for payment. 
An example of this is given on page 59, where we find that W. 
Pickering was paid £200 in 16 14, the balance of his bill for ^340, 
for a suit made for Henry, Prince of Wales, who died in 1 6 1 2 ; so that 
he had to wait at least two years before he received the whole amount. 
Conrad Seusenhofer suffered in the same way and his life was one long 
struggle with Maximilian and the Diet for payments for his work. The 
armourer, however, had the advantage over his fellow- craftsmen ; for 
when a war or a tournament was imminent he made his own terms and 
refused delivery till he had received payment. 

The craft of the armourer merits far more study than has hitherto 
been bestowed upon it, for in its finest examples it fulfils all the essential 
laws of good craftsmanship to the uttermost. Added to this the works 
of the armourer have what may be called a double personal interest. 
In the first place, they are the actual wearing apparel of kings, princes, 
and other persons of note, made to their measure and often exhibition 





some peculiarity of their owner. Owing to the perishable nature of 
fabrics but little of wearing apparel has survived to us of the periods 
anterior to the seventeenth century, and therefore the suit of armour is 
most valuable as an historical record, especially when taken in conjunc- 
tion with portraits, historical paintings, and sculpture. In addition to 
this we have the personality of the maker. The boldly grooved breast- 
plate, the pauldrons, and the wide elbow-cops of the Missaglia, the 
distinctive hook for the armet which appears only on Topf suits can be 
recognized at once, and besides this we have the poinqo7z or signature 
of the craftsman, which it is almost impossible to imitate, and which at 
once proclaims the authorship of the armour. 

The whole subject of the armourer and his craft, his limitations, his 
success at his best period, and his decadence in later years can be best 
summed up in the illustration given on Plate III. Here we have the 
graceful and light yet serviceable suit of Sigismond of Tirol, made by an 
unknown armourer about the year 1470, placed side by side with the 
cumbrous defence made for Louis XIV by Garbagnus of Brescia in 
1668. Though this craftsman must have had fine work by his forefathers 
at hand to study, and though the other arts and crafts were tending 
towards a light and flowing, if meaningless, style of design, the craft of 
the armourer had by this time reached a depth of sheer utilitarian ugli- 
ness which was never equalled even in the most primitive years of its 


THE tools used by the armourers of all nations differ but little 
from the implements of the blacksmith and, as will be seen in 
considering the various inventories that survive, these have 
scarcely varied in form during the centuries. When once invented the 
hammer, the anvil, the vice, the chisel, and the pincers are open to but 
few improvements, and even with the advent of steam and mechanical 
power, the functions of the tool remain and are simply guided by a 
machine instead of by the hand. 

The chief work of the armourer was the beating out of plates from 
the solid ingot of metal and therefore we find that all illustrations deal- 
ing with this craft show the workmen engaged in this operation. When 
once the rough shape of the piece was obtained a great deal of the work 
was done when the metal was cold, as will be seen from examination of 
the illustrations. 

When the craft of the armourer became important and when a large 
trade was done in these munitions of war, it was found more convenient 
to have the plates beaten out in special mills before they were handed 
over to the armourer to make up into armour. These battering-mills 
are noticed on pages 35, 188. 

In many instances they were probably owned by the armourers and 
were often under the same roof; but the fact that we find hammermen, 
millmen, platers, and armourers mentioned together in records and bills 
of payment to armouries seems to suggest that they had different duties 
assigned to them. 

That the work of the plater was quite distinct fi-om that of the 
armourer in the sixteenth century we gather from entries in the State 
Papers Domestic, and in the reign of James I, which will be discussed 
more fully farther on in this chapter. 

The earliest European illustration of an armourer at work at present- 
known is to be found in the thirteenth-century Aeneid of Heinrich von 
Waldec (codex MS. Germ. fol. 282, p. 79) in the Konigl. Bib. Berlin 




(Plate IV). From the fact that the armourer (Vulcan) is holding the 
helm with pincers we may infer that he is working it hot. The anvil as 
shown in this miniature (Plate IV) is square and of primitive form and 
would seem to be quite useless for the work, but this may be due to the 
inexperience of the artist. The hammer, however, is carefully drawn 
and is evidently from some real example in which the face is rounded in 
a slightly convex form and the toe ends in a small blunted point which 
may be for riveting small objects or for making small bosses. 

In the fifteenth century we find more care as to details and more 
operations shown in the illustration on the same plate, taken from a 
miniature by Boccace in Les Clercs et Nobles Femmes (Bib. Reg. i6, G, 
v. fol. 1 1) in the British Museum. Here we have several men at work 
under the superintendence of a lady who is generally supposed to be the 
Countess Matilda, while their labours are enlivened by a flute-player. 
The man at the bench appears to be putting together a defence com- 
posed of circular plates laced to a leather or linen foundation which 
strongly resembles the culet of so-called 
" penny plate " armour in the Tower (III, 
358). The helm-smith is working on a 
bascinet which he holds with pincers, but 
he is using the toe of the hammer and not 
the face, which hardly seems a likely opera- 
tion. He holds the helmet on a helmet-stake 
which probably has a rounded surface for 
finishing off the curves. The seated man is 
perhaps the most interesting figure, for he 
is a rare example of a mail-maker at work, 
closing up the rings with a pair of pincers. 
Up to the present we have no definite idea 
as to how the intricate operation of mail- 
making was accomplished so as to turn out 
rapidly coats of mail. It is probable that 
some form of pincer was used which pierced the flattened ends of the ring 
and closed up the rivet when inserted. Possibly investigations in the 
East, where mail is still made, may throw some light upon the subject.^ 

^ The present writer is commissioning research to this end in Syria, where the craft still survives. 

Fig. 15. The Mail-maker (from Jost 
Amman's Stande unci Hmidwerker), 
circ. 1590. 


The illustration by lost Amman (Fig. i 5) certainly shows the craftsman 
using a punch and hammer for his work and the only other tool shown 
is a pair of shears. Mail was in use up to the first years of the seven- 
teenth century, so we may be sure the artist 
drew his figure from life. 

Few of the actual tools of the armourer 
survive to us at the present day. In the 
Burges Bequest in the British Museum is a 
fine anvil decorated with figures of saints in 
relief of the sixteenth century, which appears 
to have been used by a craftsman dealing 
with metal in plates or sheets, for the face of 
the anvil is burred over in a manner that 
would not be the case if the smith had 
worked with bars or rods, the usual mate- 
rials of the blacksmith. In the same case 
is a pair of armourer's pincers which re- 
semble the multum in paryo tools of to- 
day, for they include hammer, wire-cutter, nail-drawer, and turnscrew 
(Plate V). A similar pair of pincers exists in the Rotunda Museum, 
Woolwich (XVI, 200). In the Wallace Collection (No. 88) is an 
armourer's hammer of the sixteenth century with a faceted copper head, 
the reason for which was probably the need for avoiding scratching the 
surface when finishing a piece. In the same collection is a finely 
decorated farrier's hammer (1002), which also includes a nail-drawer 
and turn-nut. The handle is inlaid with brass and mother-of-pearl and 
is decorated with engravings of S. George and a musketeer of about 
1640. A decorated anvil and vice which were catalogued as those of 
an armourer, the property of Mr. Ambrose Morell, were exhibited in the 
Metropolitan Museum, New York, in 1 9 1 1 , but from the form and size 
of the tools they would appear to have been rather those of the silver- 
smith than of the armourer. Jost Amman's "Armourer" (Fig. 16) calls 
for no special notice, as no tools are shown in the workshop, and is merely 
of interest as being included in this Book of Trades^ published in i 590. 

The earliest inventory containing armourers' tools is found in the 
archives of the city of Lille. It is dated 1302 and refers to the efl^ects 

Fig. 16. The Armourer (from the same 
source as Fig. 15). 





of the Constable de Nesle in the Hotel de Soissons, Paris. The inventory 
is a long one and includes many interesting details of furniture, fabrics, 
and armour. That portion relating to the tools runs as follows : — 

Arch. Dept. du Nord. Fonds de la Chambre des Comptes de Lille., No. 440 1 . 
Une englume et fos a souffler Ix s. 

Unes tenailes bicournes, i martel et menus instruments de forge xiii s. vi d. 
Item unes venterieres v s. 

xxxviii fers faites xii s. viii d. 

„ sas a cleus, tenons environs v sommes xxi 1. v s, 

„ xiii douzaines de fer de Bourgoyne xxii s. vi d. 

Another early inventory is that of Framlingham Castle, Norfolk, 
of the year 1308 : — 

ix capellae ferratae at iv s. 

iii vices ad eandem tendentes at ii s. 

The earliest complete English inventory of tools connected with 
the craft of the armourer occurs in the Accounts of the Constable of 
Dover Castle. Two separate lists are given at different dates, which 
may be studied with more convenience if placed side by side : — ^ 

Dec. 20. 17 Fdw. Ill, 1344. 

Item in Fabrica. 

ij maides^ 
ij bicorn^ 

iij martellos magnos 
iij martellos parvos 

ij tenaces magnas' 

V tenaces parvas^ 

ij instrumenta ad ferram cinendum^ 
iiij instrumenta ferrea ad claves in- 
ij paria flaborum^ 
j folour de ferro^ 

j mola de petra versatilis pro ferreo 

ij ligamina de ferreo pro 
j buketto^^ 

Jan. 26. 35 Edw. Ill, 1361. 
En la Forge. 

ij andefeltes de fer^ 

j andefelte debruse 

j bikore^ 
iij slegges* 
iiij hammcres 

vj paires tanges dount deux grosses 
iiij pensons febles'^ 
iij nailetoules per clause en icels fair" 
iij paire bulghes dount une nouvell* 

j peer moler^° 

ij fusels de feer aicele" 

j paire de wynches^^ as meme la peer 

j trow de peer pur ewe" 

j hurthestaf de feer^^ 

j cottyngyre^" 

j markingyre" une cable vels etpourz 

^ Anvils. 

^ Bickiron. 

* Sledge-hammer. 

* Pincers and tongs. 


^ Arch. Jottrn., XI, 380. 
" Tools for closing rivets. Grindstone. 

Shears. Spindles (?). 

^ Bellows. ^- Bucket-hoops. 

" Rammer (bellows ?). Winches. 

Stone water-trough. 
^5 Hearth-stick, poker. 

Cutting-iron, shears or cold-chisel. 


All the above tools are in use at the present day, except perhaps 
the ^'nailetoules" for closing the rivets, and, as has been stated above, 
if we could but discover v^hat this implement w^as we might find that 
it is also used at the present day for some other purpose. The nearest 
approach to such a tool is the eyelet-hole maker and riveter used by 
bootmakers. The " bicornes " are still known to-day as bickirons. 
They are small anvils with long horns which are used when riveting 
tubes or turning over long pieces of metal. It is a little uncertain as 
to whether the " folour " derives its name from the same root as the 
modern French " fouloir," a " rammer," or from the Latin follis," 
bellows." The former would seem more probable, as it was made of 
iron. The " fusels de feer aicele " present some difficulty, but they 
may be taken to be spindles of some kind, possibly for the grind- 
stones. The '^wynches" explain themselves, but the addition of "as 
meme la peer " is not so clear, for from the next item peer " evidently 
means " stone," for it is a trough of stone for water ; at the same time 
the word " pair " is often written " peer " at this period, so it may refer 
to a pair of winches. The bellows, shears, and grindstone call for no 
special comment, but the " hurthestaff " presents some difficulty. It 
would seem to be derived from the word " hearth " or " berth," in 
which case it would probably be a long iron rod, rake, or poker, used 
for tending the forge-fire. This seems to be borne out in the inven- 
tory of 1 5 14, where it is spelt " harth stake." The " cottyngyr " and 
"markingyre " may be found in every blacksmith's shop to-day as cold- 
chisels and marking-iron. 

The next entry bearing upon the subject of tools and workshop 
requirements is found in an Inventory under Prhy Seal of Henry VI ^ 
dated 1485, at which time John Stanley, of Wyrall, Cheshire, was 
Sergeant of the Armoury of the Tower. ^ Here we find the following 
items recorded : — 

it'm ij yerds iij q'ters of corse rede sylke 
It'm d'yerds d'q'reters of rede vele wet 
It'm iiij grosses of poyntes^ 
It'm vj armyng nales^ 
It'm hamer, j bequerne, j payr of pynsonys, iij pounde of wyre 
which was sold by Mastr, Wylliam Fox armerer 

* Archaologia, XIV, 1 23 ; also Meyrick, Atitient Armour^ II, II9. ^ See page I09. ^ Rivets. 

All splendid and moch 
more to coom of the 
king's barneys 



The bequerne " is the same as the " bicorn " mentioned in the 
Dover Castle inventory. 

In the earher periods we have no records as to the material used 
or the quantities required. It is only when we come to the sixteenth 
century that we find detailed accounts kept to assist our investigations 
respecting the making of armour. 

The next inventory worthy of note contains a list of payments made 
to John Blewbery, who was in charge of the workshops in 3 Henry 
VIII, 1 5 14. 

'Public Record Office. 

xviii September Also payde by Owre Commandement to John Blewbery 
for the new fForge at Greenwiche made for the 
Armarers of Brussells these peces ensuynge. 



-a WPP 


a. greate bekehorne 


a smalle bekehorne 


a peyre of bellowes 


a pype stake^ 



a Creste stake' 


a vysure stake^ 


a hanging pype stake* 



a stake for the hedde pecys'^ 


ii curace stakes*' 


iv peyre of Sherys^ 


iii platynge hamers^ 


iii hamers for the hedde pecys 


a creste hamer for the hedde peces 


ii hamers 



ii greve hamers^ 



a meeke hamer^" 


ii pleyne hamers 


ii platynge hamers 


ii chesels wt. an halve 


a creste hamer for the curace 


ii Rewetinge hamers" 


a boos hamer^^ 


xi ffylys^^ 


^ Round-horned anvil for making tubes. ® For the cuirass. {?) 

^ For beating up a helmet-crest. ^ Shears. Riveting-hammer. 

^ For visors. ^ Heavy hammers. Embossing-hammer. 

* Uncertain. ^ Hammers for greaves. Files. 

^ Helmet-stake. 



a payre of pynsors 

ii payre of tongs 

a harth stake^ 

ii chesels & vi ponchons 

a watr. trowgh 

a temperinge barrelle 

one Andevyle 

vi stokks to set the Tolys 

xvi dobles at xvi d every doble 

xviii quarters of Colys 

in alle 









xiii li. xvi s. 


Here we find the outfit more elaborate than that scheduled at 
Dover. The various " stakes " in use show that there were special 
appliances for making every part of the armour, both as regards the 
anvils and the hammers. The "halve" with the two chisels is, of 
course, the haft or handle, which could be fitted to either. The " vi 
stokks to set the Tolys " are presumably handles in which the tools were 
fixed. The "ponchons " are punches used in the repousse work. The 
" xvi dobles " were probably heavy iron models on which the various 
pieces were shaped. Two specimens in the Tower (a morion, IV, 227, 
and a breastplate. III, 209), are considered by the present Curator to be 
dobles, for they are cast and not wrought, are far too heavy for actual 
use, and have no holes for rivets or for attaching the lining. 

In the illustration given on Plate VI, taken from Hans Burgmair's 
Weisz Kunig^ many of these tools are shown in use. The engraving 
was produced by an artist who was also a designer of armour, so they 
would certainly be correctly drawn. The various small stakes are all 
in use and all the work is being done with the metal cold, for the men 
are holding it with their hands. This working of the cold metal tends 
to compress the crystals and to make the metal hard, and is more than 
once alluded to in works upon armour. Gaya, in his Traite des armes^ 
mentions this detail, and again Jean de Saulx-Tavannes^ mentions 
" cuirasses battues a froid" when speaking of armour of" proof," which 
is also noticed in the present work under that heading. 

1 Poker. 

2 Reprint (Clar. Press, Oxon, 1911), edited by Charles fFoulkes. 

3 Mem. rel. h Vhist. de France (Paris, 1 866), p. 19I, col. I. 



The following extracts from various books and documents relate to 
the tools and appliances of the armourer : — 

1278. Roll of Expenses for a 'Tournament in Windsor Park. 

It qualibet cresta j per chaston 

These chastones or clavones were rivets for fastening the crests of 
the knights and also of the horses. Most of the items in this roll were 
supplied by curriers or tailors, for the weapons and armour were of wood 
or leather, and metal does not seem to have been used. 

1300. Wardrobe Expenses of Edward 1} 

Una Cresta cum clavis argenti pro eodem capello. 

1 30 1. An indenture on the delivery of the Castle of Montgomery by William de 

Leyburn to Hugo de Knoville. ^ 

Unum incudem et i martellum et ii suffletis ovi valoris. 

These are evidently the contents of the castle armourer's workshop : 
an anvil, a hammer, and a small pair of bellows of no value. Perhaps 
such items are hardly worth chronicling, but in a work of this nature it 
seems to be advisable to collect every entry bearing upon the subject, so 
as to make it a complete study of the craft of the armourer both techni- 
cally and historically, as far as is possible with the very limited material 

1369. Dethe Blaunclie., I. 9964. Chaucer. 

As hys brothres hamers ronge 
upon hys anuelet up and doon. 

1386. Knight's Tale., I. 1649. Chaucer. 

Faste the armurers also 

with fyle and hamer prikynge to and fro. 

This refers to the travelling armourer who accompanied his lord to 
the tournament or to war. 

1465. Acts, of Sir fohn Howard. 

20,000 Bregander nayle iis. 8d. 

These are the small rivets used in making the brigandine. A brigan- 
dine with sleeves at Madrid (c. 11) is composed of 3827 separate plates 
and over 7000 rivets were used in putting it together. 

1 Archaologia, XVIII, 305. 2 Cott. MS., Vit. c. lo, fol. 1 54. 


1460 (?). Ordinances of Chivalry^ fol. 122^.^ 

Also a dosen tresses of armynge poyntis. 
Also a hamyr and pynsones and a bicorne. 
Also smale nayles a dosen. 

The "tresses" were plaited laces for fastening the various portions 
of armour to the wearer. These may be seen in the portrait of the 
Due de Nevers(?) at Hampton Court, the picture of S. Demetrius by 
L'Ortolano in the National Gallery, and more clearly in the portrait of 
an unknown navigator in the Fortnum Room of the Ashmolean Museum, 
Oxford. The arming-points will be found described and illustrated on 
page 109. 

1513. Equipage of Henry ^ Earl of Northumberland.^ 

Emmery & oile for dressing my Lord's harnes. 
Leather, bokills & naylles for mendyng my Lords harnes. 
Towles conserning the mending of my Lord's harnes. Item a payre 
of nyppers, a payre of pynsores, a pomyshe/ & ij fylles. Item a 
small sti'the, a hammer, and all ouy'' stuffe and tooles belonginge an 
armorer. Item viij yards of white blaunkett for trussing of my 
Lord's harnes in. 

The emery and oil were used in cleaning the armour and will be 
noticed in due course on page 78. The nippers, pincers, etc., have 
been alluded to before. The "sti'the" is an anvil, a term used up to 
Shakespeare's time, as may be found in Hamlet^ iii. 2, 89. All these 
"Towles" or tools would be part of the travelling equipment of the 
armourer who accompanied his lord on active service. 

1 5 1 4. Record Office, 9 July, to fohn Blewbery. 

For a millwheel with stondard, 2 beams & brasys [braces] 
belonging thereto and two small wheels to drive the 

glasys 40s. 

For two elm planks for lanterns for the same mill 5s. 

13 lbs. of tin at 5d. a lb. 5s. ^d. 
28 lbs. of white soap for tempering the said mill at 2d. lb. 4s. i od. 

500 gauntlet nailes 8d. 

100 & a half of iron 4/8, 3 rivetting hamers 2/- 6s. 8d. 

a payre of pynsers 2/8, 4 crest fylys 4/- 6s. 8d. 

2 greate fylys 5s. 

100 & a half of Steele for vambraces & gaunteletes 60s. 

1 Archaologiay LVII, also Arch. Jourti., IV, 226. 

2 Antiquarian Repertory, IV, 367. ^ Pumice-stone. 



The mill-wheel was for the water-power used for turning the grind- 
stones and other appliances which will be noticed later on in this chapter. 
The " glasys " are probably the glazing- wheels for putting the final 
polish upon the finished armour. The white soap was for lubricating 
the axle of the mill-wheel or for the final polish of the metal on the 
wheel or buff. The "gauntlet nailes" are small rivets for gauntlets 
which, being of thinner metal, would require a smaller-sized rivet than 
the rest of the body armour. The steel for vambraces and gauntlets was 
probably thinner than that used for other portions of the suit. 

1 5 1 4. Record Office^ 2 2 yuly^ to 'John Blewbery. 

for the glasyers of the said mill and one spindle to 

the same glasyers o o 

for a grind stone & the beam for the same mill i o o 

King's Book of Payments^ Record Office. 

1 5 16. Feb.^ to Edith, widow of Fountain, millman. * 
for milling & carriage of harness 15 o o 

1 5 16. Record Office, loc. cit.. May, fohn Hardy, fishmonger. 

4 bundles of Isebrooke stuff for making parts of 

harness 6 8 

It is difficult to see why this payment should have been made unless 
the fishmonger had imported the Innsbruck metal in one of his boats. 
The term " Isebroke" will be found mentioned under the chapter dealing 
with the Proving of Armour. 

1517. Record Office, loc. cit., April, to fohn de Mery. 

2541 lbs. of steel plates of Isebroke and Lymbrickes 

stuff ^26 12 o 

The "Lymbricke" metal came from Limburg, in North Brabant. 

1 5 17, Record Office, loc. cit.. May, to Sir Edw. Guy If or d. 

making two forges & the repairs in the Armory at 

Southwark ^19 2 o 

I 520. Record Office^ April, Richd. Pellande, Rauffe Brand, Richd. Cutler, and 
Hans, iour of the King's armourers, brought to the Field of the Cloth 
of Gold all sorts of necessaries for armour, such as buckles, files, 
chisels, punches, hinges, hides, and rivets. 

The glazing-mill was taken down at Greenwich and was set up at 
Guisnes with four forges. 

^ Expenses of Sir Edw. Guilford, Master of the Armoury. 


1544. Cott. App. XXVIII, f. 69, Brit. Mus. 

Working in the privy Armoury upon thefiling of the king's Majestie's 
harnes & other necessaries from May i i-July 16. (This is part of 
the account of Erasmus, the King's armourer, who is noticed else- 

1 544. Loc. cit., f. j6. Charges of the Kings Armoury. 
Item 8 bundles of steel to the said Armoury for 

the whole year 38/- the bundle li. xv iiii 

(Lockers and Millmen are mentioned in this entry.) 

On page 31 it was noted that in 15 16 four bundles of steel cost 
^8 6s. 8d., in 1517 2541 lb. cost ^26 i2s., that is about 2^d. per lb. 
From these three entries taken together we gather that the "bundle" 
was about 20 lb. 

1544. Cott. App} XXVIII, f. 76. 

Item for 1 6 bundles of steel to serve both shops 

a whole year at 38/- per bundle 
Item i hide of buff leather every month for both 

shops at 10/- the hide 
Item to every of the said shops 4 loads of 

charcoal a month 9/- the load 
Item for both shops i cowhide every month at 

6/8 the hide 
Item 100 of iron every month for both shops at 

6/8 the 100 
Item in wispe steel for both shops every month 

1 5 lbs. at 4d. lb. 
Item in wire monthly to both shops 12 lb. 

monthly at 4d. the lb. 
Item in nayles & buckles for both shops monthly 

This record contains other details in connection with the two work- 
shops of Greenwich and Westminster, in which 1 2 armourers, 2 lock- 
smiths, and 2 millmen and 2 prentices are employed who " will make 
yearly, with the said 16 bundles of steel and the other stuff aforesaid, 
3 2 harnesses complete, every harness to be rated to the king's Highness 
at ;^i2, which amounteth in the year towards his Grace's charge 

iii" iiii" iiii"" (^384). 

From these details we can find approximately that the 32 suits re- 
quired 13 hundred of iron and 195 lb. of whisp steel. Therefore each 
suit took 40 1 lb. of iron and about 6 lb. of whisp steel. 

^ See also Appendix F. 

li, XXX 





















The leather was either for straps and Hnings for the armour, or may 
have been used for facing the polishing-wheels or " buffs." The year 
was divided into thirteen lunar months. 

1559. Hefiry chorus. Shakespeare. 

The Armourers accomplishing the knights 
With busy hamers closing riuets up. 

This is more or less a poetic licence, for the riveting was only done 
on each separate piece, and these were joined on the wearer with straps, 
arming-points, or turning-pins. Of course this entry should be taken 
as made at the year when Shakespeare wrote, and not as representing an 
actual occurrence at Agincourt. 

1562. State Papers Domestic, 'Elizabeth., Vol. XXI, 14. 

Due also to the armorers of the Tower for their wages 
& for leather, buckels,nailes & other paiments in indent 
to the said armory at the feast of Christmas last past vj'' xv' 

In this entry are mentioned arming nails, butret nails, hammers, 
punshions, sheres, fyles, sand for scouring, cords, points, oyletholes, tow 
and butten nails. 

1574. State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth, Vol. XCIX, 50. 

The monthly charge ordinary, vez coles, stele 

Iron nayles, buckills & lether &c. vij" 

1593. Auditor s Privy Seal Book, 353. 

Elizabeth to the Treasurer & Chamberlain of the Exchequer. 
Whereas we . . . are informed that the mills serving for our 
Armoury at Greenwich are decayed, you are to pay to Sir H. Lee 
such sums as are necessary for the repairs ... for the mills not 
to exceed ^80. 

1622. Record Office, Sir Henry Lee's Accounts of the Armoury. 

The following details are mentioned : — 

Redskins for bordering of armour, calfskins for the same, leather for 
gauntlets, Round headed nails, Tynned nails, flat headed nails, white 
nails, yellow nails, double buckels, buckels, nails and taches for 
gantlets, copper nails, brockases, tacejoyntz. 

The "nails" here mentioned are rivets of iron or brass or copper. 
Some were tinned to prevent rusting, a custom which was practised as 
early as 1361, for we find in one of the inventories of Dover Castle^ 

^ Arch. Journ., XI. 



under that date "xiii basynetz tinez." The "taches" for gauntlets were 
fastenings of some kind, possibly turning-pins. The " brockases" were 
also probably brooches or fastenings of some sort, and the "tacejoyntz" 
hinges for attaching the tassets to the taces. 

1624. State Papers Domestic^ ^^c. /, Vol. CLXXX, 71, 72. Erection of 
Plating-mills by Capt. Martin at Erith. (This document is quoted 
at length in Appendix J, p. 188,) 
The rates for Plaetes and armors exectly examined for the prices the 

strength and lightness considered are thus reduced. 
The chardge of a tun of Armer plaetes o o 

Two chaldron of coles wt. carriadge will be 1 1 2 o 

Reparation for the mill 12 o 

The workmen for battering this tun of plaetes 400 
The armourers may make them wt due shape black 

nayle and lether them for 710 o 

etc. etc. 

The entries in this document will be examined fully on page 41. 

1 63 1 . Feeder a ^ xix, p. 312. Rymer. 

Unstriking new fyling russetting new nayling lethering 

and lyning of a cuirassiers armor i iii o 

This entry occurs in a document under the Privy Seal of Charles I, 
dated Westminster, June 29, which refers to the using of a hall-mark for 
armour. The principal portion of this is given in Appendix K, page 191. 

1643. State Papers Domestic, Car. /, Nov. 20. 

Letter from Privy Seal to treasurer & under Treasurer of Exchequer 
to pay Wm. Legg Master of the Armoury £100 by way of imprest 
upon account to be employed in building a mill at Woolvercote near 
Oxford for grinding swords & for building forges providing tools 
& other necessaries for sword blade makers to be employed to make 
swords for our service. 

1644. State Papers Domestic, Car. 7, D, Feb. 26. 

Warrant of the Privy seal to Exchequer. 
By our special command Legg has caused to be erected a mill for 
grinding swords at Woolvercote co Gloucester & forges at Gloucester 
Hall, you are therefore to pay upon account to Wm. Legg Master of 
the Armory a sum not exceeding ^2000 for grinding swords and 
belts in the office of the armory the same to be made at the usual 
price and according to pattern as by us appointed also to provide 
tools and other necessaries for sword blade making employed by the 
said Master of the Armory. 



In the second of these extracts "co Gloucester" is a sHp of the pen 
due to the close proximity of " Gloucester Hall." It should of course 
read "Oxford." The mill was originally owned by the nuns of Godstow, 
who received it from Henry I. It is now used by the Clarendon Press 
for paper-making. Gloucester Hall is now Worcester College. There 
are no records either in the city or university to throw more light on 
these entries. 

1649. Parliamentary Survey^ Feb.^ No. 30. 

The Armory Mill consisted of two little rooms and one large one in 
which stood two mills, then lately altered. The mill with stables 
stood in an acre of ground abutting on Lewisham Common and was 
used till about twelve years before the above date for grinding armour 
and implements for the King's tilt-yard. 

The mill is described in the rental of the manor, 44 Edw. Ill, 1371, 
as one for grinding steel and valued at 3s. 4d. per ann. 

1660. Harl. MSS. J^S7- 

A view and Survey of all the Armour and other Munitions or 
Habiliaments of Warr remayneing at the Tower of London.^ 

Armorers Tooles. 
Small bickernes. Tramping stakes," Round stake,^ Welting stake,* 
straite sheres,^ hieing tonges, Hamers, Old tew iron,*' Great square 
anvill, Bellows, Smiths vices, Threstles. 

The entry which refers to the loss of the " Great Bear," a large 
anvil formerly at Greenwich, is given in full in Appendix M. 

Before leaving the subject of tools and appliances, some notice 
should be taken of the picture by Jan Breughel (1575-1632) entitled 
Venus at the Forge of Vulcan" (Kais. Friedrich Mus., Berlin, No. 678), 
which measures 54 cm. by 93 cm. Here all the various operations 
of the armourer and gun-founder are shown, with a large quantity of 
armour, weapons, bells, coins, and goldsmith's work. The details of 
especial interest are the grindstones and " glazing- wheels," and the 
"tilt-hammers" worked by water-power, which were probably the 
machines used in the " battering-mills " more than once alluded to 
above. These water-turned hammers continued in use in England up 

^ Given in full, Meyrick, Antient Armour, III, I06. * For turning over edges of iron. 

2 A pick {Eng. Dialect Diet.) ^ This shows that curved shears were also used. 

^ Bottom stake. ^ Possibly a nozzle for bellows (N.E. Did.). 


to the first quarter of the nineteenth century,^ and are still found in 
Italy at the present day. They are raised by wooden cams or teeth 
set round the axle of the water-wheel, to which a handle is fixed on 
the near side for use when water-power was not available. The chisel- 
edge of the hammer is for stretching the metal by means of a series of 
longitudinal hammerings. Of the grindstones actuated by the same 
water-power, the larger would be for rough work, the second for finer 
finish, and the smallest, which is probably a wooden " buff," would 
be used for the high polish at the end. 

It is impossible here to give a detailed description of this very 
interesting picture, which has been considered elsewhere by the 
present author.^ At the same time the tools shown in this workshop 
are worthy of notice as being part of the stock-in-trade of the 
armourer of the seventeenth century. 

To the left of the tilt-hammers, in the foreground, are a pair of 
large bench-shears, and above them, on a cooling-trough, just below 
the magpie, is a long-handled swage for stamping grooves 
and edgings on metal plates. Tongs, pincers, and hammers 
are found in many parts of the picture, and dies for stamping 
coins or medals are seen immediately below the bench-shears. 
Directly under the right foot of Vulcan is a tracing- wheel, 
similar to that shown on Jost Amman's engraving of the 
"Compass Maker" in his Book of Trades, A small bench- 
vice lies near the lower margin of the picture under the 
figure of Cupid, and a hand-vice and repousse hammer on 
the three-legged stool to the left. In the distance, over the 
figure of Venus, is the primitive contrivance for boring a 
cannon, the mould for casting which is seen close by in the 
floor. The most interesting detail is to be found in the 
machine which lies at the foot of the small anvil at Cupid's 
This bears a strong resemblance to the modern burring- 
machine or "jenny," used for turning up the edge of thin metal plates 
(Fig. 17). 

The armour shown, with its strongly marked volutes and decoration. 

Fig. 17. 

or "Jenny " 

*ight hand. 

^ Cabinet Cyclopedia, "Manufacture of Metals," Lardner, 1 83 1. 

2 Burlington Magazine, April, Zeitschrift fiir Historische Waffenkunde, V, 10. 





is of a type very common in the Madrid and Turin armouries, some of 
which has been ascribed to Pompeo della Chiesa. We have no clue 
as to whose workshop this picture represents, but if taken from life, it 
must certainly have been that of some master like Bartolomeo Campi, 
who, besides being an armourer, was a bronze -founder and goldsmith 
as well (see Frontispiece). 


THERE is but little information to be obtained regarding the 
actual materials used by the armourer. The chief source 
from which he drew his supplies seems to have been Innsbruck. 
Why this was so is not clear from the contemporary records, but we 
may be sure that the German metal was harder and better tempered 
than that of other countries, or there would not have been the demand 
for it that there evidently was. In the various entries in the State 
Papers Domestic we find specific mention of " Isebruk " iron, and 
the merits of this metal must have been appreciated even in Shakespeare's 
time, for we have in Othello^ v. 2, 253, "a sword of icebrook's 
temper." In the earliest editions of the play the word is " Isebrooke," 
which is obviously the anglicized version of Innsbruck.^ 

Sheffield steel must have been appreciated as early as Chaucer's 
time, for the Miller carries a " Sheffield thwyrtel " (knife), and in 
1402 the arrows used at the battle of Homildon were pointed with 
Sheffield steel, so sharp that no armour could repel them. 

It is possible that the German iron-smelters had discovered the 
properties of manganese, which hardens steel, and thus obtained a 
superior metal to that produced in other countries. 

The discovery of steel was probably a fortuitous accident, due to 
the fact that the first smelting-works were fuelled with charcoal, which 
deoxidizes iron and turns some portion of the metal into natural 
steel. The Germans themselves realized the superiority of their 
material, for in 1 5 1 1 Seusenhofer complained that his merchant was 
not giving him good metal, and advised that it should be classed as 
" Milanese," so as not to lessen the fame of Innsbruck iron. 

Till the seventeenth century English iron seems to have been largely 
used for domestic purposes, for we find on examining Professor Rogers's 
Agriculture and Prices that German iron is never mentioned, but there 

1 The quotation continues : "a sword of Spain." We find many Solingen and Passau blades bearing 
the marks of Spanish sword-smiths. 




are frequent references to English and Spanish metal. The following 
prices from the above work show the fluctuations in prices of iron in 

1436. Spanish iron, 241b., is. 6d., or about ^£14. the ton. 
1462. Iron, 42 lb. at ^d., or ;^I7 los. the ton. 
1562. Raw English iron, j£i2 los. the ton. 

Bilbow (Bilboa), i 8s. the ton. 

Spanish, 2 the ton. 

1570. Iron gun-stocks, made up, ;^28 the ton. 

1 571, Steel bar, j^io the ton. 
Bar steel, ;^37 4s. the ton. 

1584. Spanish iron, j^i^ the ton. 50 bars to the ton, or about 
45 lb. to the bar. 

1622. Steel, ;^32 the ton. 

1623. Spanish iron, ^^14 los. to jQi^ los. 

1624. Iron bars of 24 lb. at ^^37 4s. the ton. 

These prices vary so greatly that we must be sure that there was 
a great difference in the quality, and also in the state in which the 
metal is delivered. In some cases there must have been a great deal 
of preparation and finishing of the raw material to account for the 
high price paid. 

In 1 5 1 7 an entry in the State Papers Domestic, given on page 3 i , 
states that 2541 lb. of Isebroke steel cost /^26 12s., which gives about 
^23 for the ton. 

In the Sussex Archceological yournal^ II, 200, Walter Burrel gives 
an account of Sussex ironworks in the seventeenth century. He 
states that when once the furnace was lit it was kept going sometimes 
for forty weeks, the period being reckoned in " foundays." During 
each founday eight tons were made with twenty-four loads of charcoal. 
The metal was cast into " sows " weighing from 600 to 2000 lb. He 
states that " they melt off a piece of the sow about three quarters of a 
hundredweight and beat it with sledges near a fire so that it may 
not fall to pieces, treating it with water they thus bring it to a ' bloom,' 
a four square piece 2 ft. long."^ Modern bar-iron i in. by i in. by 12 in. 
weighs 3*4 lb. Therefore this bloom would approximately make a plate 
33 sq. ft. by ^ in. thick. ^ Even with these data it is impossible to tell 

^ This would be a piece about 2 ft. by 3^ in. by 3I in. 
^ Large plates of horse-armour are about in. thick. 


the size of the plates deUvered to the armourer ; for the appliances in 
the Middle Ages were but crude, and it is doubtful if rolling-mills were 
used in the sixteenth century. From the picture by Breughel, given as 
the frontispiece, we know that tilt-hammers were in use, but these 
would hardly have been used to flatten plates of any great size. 

It would appear that iron in some localities was tainted with some 
poison ; for in a Geographic d'Ec/rm quoted in Gay's Rncylopcedia^ 699, 
reference is made to a mountain in Armenia where the iron ore is poisoned 
and which, when made into knives and swords, produced mortal wounds. 
It may have been that this was actually the case, but it is more probable 
that it was an invention of the owner of the mine designed to give his 
productions a fictitious value. 

A few details of interest in connection with the manufacture of iron 
in England may be gathered from the Metallum Martis of Dud Dudley, 
a natural son of Edward, Lord Dudley. The treatise was printed in 
1665 and refers to the author's endeavours to interest the Crown in his 
project for smelting iron with sea-coal instead of wood or charcoal. In 
his address to the King (Charles II) and Council he prefaces his tech- 
nical remarks as follows : — 

" Our predecessors in former Ages had both serious Consultations 
and Considerations before they made these many Wholesome and Good 
Lawes for the preservation of Wood and Timber of this Kingdome. 
I Eliz. 15, 23 Eliz. 5, 27 Eliz. 19, 28 Eliz. 3, 5. . . . Therefore it 
concerns His Sacred Majesty, his high Court of Parliament ... to 
lay it to heart and helping hands upon fit occasions in these laudable 
Inventions of making Iron & melting of mines and refyning them with 
Pitcoal, Seacoal, Peat, and Turf ; ... for maintenance of Navigation, 
men of War, the Fishing and Merchants trade, which is the greatest 
strength of Great Britain . . . whose defence and offence next under 
God consists by his sacred Majestie's assisting care and view of his men 
of War . . . Ordinance of Copper, Brass and Iron, Armories, Steels, 
and Irons of all sorts." 

In his letter to the King he mentions Shippings, Stores, Armories, 
Ordnance, Magazines, and Trade. He mentions several counties as 
mining centres, but does not include Sussex or Shropshire. The first of 
these two was probably ruled out, as the industry there depended on the 





THE armourer's MARKS AITEAK ON 2 AND 4 



use of wood, against which Dudley's introduction of coal was levelled. 
We find Shropshire mentioned in the Trial of Armour given in the 
chapter on " Proof" (page 66). 

Dudley seems to have formed a company in May, 1638, into which 
he took one Roger Foulke, " a Counsellor of the Temple and an 
ingenious man," as partner. 

Before this his father, Lord Dudley, had employed a certain Richard 
Parkes or Parkhouse to carry iron merchandise to the Tower, which 
James I ordered to be tested by his " Artists," that is, of course, his 
armourers. Parkes made a sample fowling-piece of the new " Dudley 
Ore," smelted from pit-coal, and signed his name in gold upon the barrel. 
The gun was taken from him by Colonel Levison and was never returned. 

Dudley gives three qualities of iron : grey iron, the finest, and best 
suited for making bar-iron ; motley iron, a medium quality ; and white 
iron, the least refined. 

It is curious that in all his calculations and specifications he never 
actually mentions the making of armour and but seldom the casting of 

In considering the weights of suits as given in Appendix J we find 
the following details. By the prices given 20 cwt. make one ton. The 
cwt. at the time of James I was 112 lb. 

Now we are told that " Sixe hundred of iron will make five hundred 
of plates," so we gather that in turning the pig-iron into plates one 
hundredweight was lost. The above entries give the following weights 
per suit or portion of a suit scheduled : — 

Five hundred (weight) of plates will make 20 cuirasses 

of pistol proofe with pauldrons. 
Therefore one set will weigh . . . . 28 lb. 

Four hundred (weight) of plates will make 20 pair (or 40 

sets) of cuirasses without pauldrons. 
Therefore one set will weigh . . . . 1 1 lb. 3 oz. 

Sixteen hundred (weight) of plates will make 20 lance- 

Therefore one lance-armour^ will weigh . . . 89 lb. 10 oz. 

^ For particulars of " lance-armour " see Appendix I. 



Five hundred (weight) of plates will make 20 proof 

Therefore one target will weigh . . . . 28 lb. 

Twelve hundred (weight) of plates will make 20 pairs 

(40 sets) of strong cuirasses with caps. 
Therefore one set of cuirass and cap will weigh . . 33 lb. 10 oz. 

Four "platers" will make up 3700 weight or 37 cwt. of plates in 
one week, therefore one plater will make up 9 cwt. 28 lb. in a week or 
I cwt. 57 lb. or thereabouts in one day. 

For comparison with existing suits of which the weights are known 
we may use the following details : — 



Paris (G, 80), n'rc. 1588. Cuirass, arm 

i-pieces, and tassets . 

• 73 



. 22 




Stanton Harcourt, Oxon, circ. 1685. 


. 25 


Head-piece . 



Arm-pieces (2) 





Tower (II, 22), circ. 1686. 


• 27 


Head-piece . 

• 7 


Long gauntlet 

• 3 




Tower (II, 92), of XVII cent. 


. 24 


Head-piece . 

. 6 


The whole of this suit weighs 

. 48 


It should be noted that two of the items in the Appendix are de- 
scribed as of " proof" and one is described as " strong." The lance- 
armours are not qualified in any way, but from their weight they must 
have been proof against musket or arquebus. 

It is impossible to discover what size the "plates" were made before 
they were handed over to the armourers. The largest single plate in the 
Tower is a portion of the horse-armour of II, 5, known as the " En- 
graved Suit." This piece measures 27^ in. at top and 28^ in. at 
bottom by 17 in. and i8| in. high, or roughly speaking 28^ in. by 
i8|in., about ^i^' thick, weighing about 6 lb. 4 oz. If the numbers 
given on page 4 1 represent plates and not hundredweights, each plate 



1^ in. thick would be 6 in. by 1 1 in., and this is obviously absurd. It 
is more likely that, with the crude appliances in use, an ingot of metal 
was beaten out into such a plate as the weight of the ingot might give, 
larger or smaller as the case might be, and not standardized in any way. 
Dud Dudley writing in 1665 describes the methods of ironworkers 
before his introduction of sea-coal. 

"They could make but one little lump or bloom of Iron in a day, not 
100 weight and that not fusible, nor fined, or malliable, until it were 
long burned and wrought under hammers."^ 

1 Metallum Mortis, p. 37. 


THE actual craft- work of the armourer differed but little from that 
of the smith, but there are some details which the armourer had 
to consider which were not part of ordinary blacksmith's work. 
There are no contemporary works of a technical nature, and our 
investigations can only be based on actual examination of suits, assisted 
by scattered extracts from authorities who mention the subject in mili- 
tary works. In 1649 J. Cramer printed a work, De ^rmorum Fabri- 
catione^ but it throws no light upon the subject and quotes from Roman 

In the first place, the making of mail was a distinct craft which had 
no counterpart in other branches of smithing. At first the wire had 
to be beaten out from the solid, and thus the few fragments which 
remain to us of early mail show a rough, uneven ring of wire, clumsily 
fashioned and thicker than that of later dates. The invention of wire- 
drawing is generally ascribed to Rudolph of Nuremberg, about the 
middle of the fourteenth century,^ but there were two corporations of 
wire-drawers in Paris in the thirteenth century mentioned in Etienne 
Boileau's LiDre des Metiers ^ written about 1260. 

When the wire was obtained, either hammered out or drawn, it 
was probably twisted spirally round a rod of the diameter of the required 
ring. It was then cut off into rings, with the ends overlapping. The 
two ends were flattened and punched or bored with holes through the 
flat portion. A small rivet, and in some cases two, was then inserted, 
and this was burred over with a hammer or with punches (Fig. 15, 
18 ; also Plate IV). It is possible that some kind of riveting-pincers 
were used, but no specimens of this kind of tool are known. ^ Some- 
times the ends of the rings are welded, which would be done by heat- 
ing them and hammering them together. Before the rings were joined 
up they were interlaced one with another, each ring passing through 

^ The History of Inventions. Beckman. 

2 See Dover Castle Inventory^ p. 25. The "nailtoules" may have been used for this purpose. 





four others. Occasionally, to obtain increased strength, two rings were 
used for every one of the ordinary mail, but representations of this 
double mail are rare. The terms " haubert doublier," "haubert a maille 
double," and " haubert clavey de double 
maille " are found in French inventories, 
and in the inventory of Louis X which 
has been quoted before we find "33 
gorgieres doubles de Chambli, un pans et 
uns bras de roondes mailles, une couver- 
ture de mailles rondes demy cloies." 
These different items suggest that there 
were various ways of making mail and of 
putting it together. The double mail has 
been noticed, and the mail "demy clones" 
was probably mail in which the ends of 
the links were closed with only one rivet. 
The maile roond " being specially 
scheduled points to the fact that some- 
times mail was made of flat rings, but 

whether cut from the Fig- 18. Method of making mail. 

sheet of metal or merely of flattened wire it is im- 
possible to say. 

Where the covering of mail was not made in one 
piece — that is, when the shirt, leggings, sleeves, or 
coif were made to open — they were fastened by laces. 
The chausses, or leggings of mail, were often laced 
at the back of the leg, as is shown in the sketch- 
book of Wilars de Honecourt, thirteenth century, 
figured in Armour and Weapons (Plate I) by the 
present author. The coif of mail was generally kept 
close to the head by a thong round the temples (Fig. 
23, 8), and was in some instances fastened in front 
with an overlapping flap and a lace (Fig. 20). 
The Camail, or tippet of mail, which is the distinctive detail of the 
armour of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century, was either 
hung from a flat plate of metal which was fitted over the vervelles or 

Fig. 19. Sculptured repre- 
sentation of (i) double 
and (2) single mail on the 
effigy of R. de Mauley, 
1242, formerly in York 
Minster {Archceologia, 


staples on the bascinet and kept in place by a lace or a thick wire, or 
the mail itself was hung over the vervelles and the plate fitted over it 
and secured in the same way. This latter method appears to have been 

more commonly in use, to judge from 
sculptured effigies and brasses. A 
bascinet in the Ethnological Museum, 
Athens,^ shows the vervelles, plate, 
and wire that secured it still in place, 
but the mail has all corroded and dis- 
appeared. A good restoration of the 
camail on a bascinet with a leather band 
instead of a flat plate is to be found 
in the Wallace Collection (No. 74). 

In the thirteenth century we find 
one of the most unpractical of all the 
armourer's contrivances in the nasal 
flap — hinged or laced to the camail, 
hanging down over the chin when not 
in use, and fastened, when required, 
to the bascinet by a pin or hook. The nasal of the eleventh century, 
figured on the Bayeux Tapestry and elsewhere, was practical because it 
provided a defence for the nose and face which was as rigid as the 
helmet itself ; but this later nasal could 
only protect the wearer from the actual 
cutting of the skin, for the full force of the 
blows would be felt almost as much as if 
there were no defence at all. These nasals 
are figured so frequently in Hewitt, Hefner, 
and elsewhere that no special illustration is 
necessary in the present work. 

A variety of mail which, from the sculp- 
tured effigies and from miniatures of the 
thirteenth century, appears to have been in high favour, has come to be 
known as "Banded Mail." 

In both painted and sculptured records the methods of representa- 

^ Archaologia, LXII. 

Fig. 20. Coif of Mail, (i) Effigy of William 
Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, Temple Church. 
{2) Effigy in Pershore Church, Worcs (from 

Fig. 21. 
Attachment of Ca- 
mail, effigy of Sir 
R. Pembridge,Cle- 
honger Church, 

Fig. 22. 
Attachment of 


Fig. 23. Banded Mail. 

I, 2, 3. Suggested reinforcements of chain mail by leather thongs. 

4. Rings covered with leather ; 5, section of same. 

6. Meyrick's suggestion ; 7, section of same. 

8. From Romance of Alexander, Bib. Nat., Paris, circ. 1240. 

9. Effigy at Newton Solney, Derbs ; 10, section of same. 


tion differ considerably from those employed to suggest the ordinary 
mail of interlaced rings. 

In the middle of the last century, when the subject of armour began 
to be seriously studied, this banded mail was the subject of many theories 
and suggestions. Meyrick considered that it was composed of rings sewn 
on to a fabric, overlapping each other sideways ; but a practical experi- 
ment will prove that such an arrangement would be impossible, as the 
weight would be excessive and the curve of the body would cause the 
rings to "gape." Other writers have considered that the same arrange- 
ment of rings, covered with leather which would prevent the "gaping," is 
the correct solution ; but here again the heat would be a grave drawback.^ 

An important point on all representations of banded mail is that, 
when part of the garment is shown turned back, the back is the same 
as the front. The most practical suggestion was put forward by the 
late J. G. Waller,^ who considered that it was simply chain mail with 
leather thongs threaded through every row or every alternate row of 
links. This would give a solidity to an otherwise too-pliant fabric, 
and would keep the mail in its place, especially on the arms and legs. 
It would also show the same arrangement of rings back and front. 

The drawing from the Romance of Alexander goes far to prove 
that Waller's theory is the right one, for here the thongs are not shown 
on hands and head, where greater pliability of the mail was required, 
and yet these defences appear to be part of the same garment which 
shows the " banded " lines. 

It is almost superfluous to add that no specimen of this kind of 
defence survives to-day, but Oriental mail is sometimes found stiffened 
in this manner with leather thongs. 

The wearing of mail survived longer than is generally supposed. 
Holinshed, writing in 1586 (page 90 of the present work), mentions 
shirts of mail as part of the ordinary equipment of the foot-soldier. On 
Plate 8 of Derricke's Image of Ireland the mounted officer wears mail 
sleeves, and in an inventory of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, taken in 1603, 
we find gorgets and shirts of mail, and barrels for cleaning the same. 
Edward Davies, writing in 16 19 (The ^Art of IVarre)^ distinctly states 
that the arquebussiers wore a shirt of mail (see page 115). 

^ Arch. Journ.y XXXVII, ^ Archaologiuy LIX. 



The Brigandine and splinted armour were made by riveting small 
plates or horizontal lames on to a fabric foundation. In the former 
the fabric was outside, and rich ornamentation was obtained by the gilt 
rivet-heads which held the plates to the outer covering (see page 150). 
In the latter case the metal was on the outside and was riveted on to a 
foundation of linen. In some cases the rows of small plates are divided 
by strips of fine mail. There was no particular craft needed in making 
the brigandine, but the metal used was often of proof and was marked 
with the maker's name to attest it. 

As may be seen on Plate XI and Fig. 36, the small plates of the 
brigandine are wider at the top than at the bottom, and overlap upwards. 
The reason for this is that the human torse is narrower at the waist than 
at the chest, and the plates could not overlap each other and yet con- 
form to the lines of the figure if they overlapped downwards. 

Although lighter and more pliable defences than the cuirass, the 
brigandine and jack were very effectual for protection against arrows, 
for we find, according to Walsingham,^ that the 
rioters under Wat Tyler shot at a jack belonging 
to the Duke of Lancaster, but were unable to 
damage it, and eventually cut it to pieces with 
swords and axes. 

The jack or canvas coat of Sir John Willoughby, 
temp. Elizabeth, now at Woolaton Hall, is formed 
of stout canvas inside and out stuffed with two 
layers of tow with horn discs in between. The 
whole is kept together by a series of lacings which 
appear on the outside as lines and triangles of the 
same kind as those shown on Fig. 25. It is com- 
posed of six panels, two for the breast, two for the 
back, and two small ones for the shoulders. A 
portrait of Willoughby in the Painted Gallery at 
Greenwich shows such a jack with red cords. 
The jack was generally lined with metal plates and examples of this 
may be seen in the Tower (III, 335, 336). These are also made up of 
six panels and weigh about 17 lb. each. They are composed of about 

^ Historia Anglicana^ Rolls Series, p, 457. 

Fig. 24 

Figfure wearing 
Jack (from Chasse of S. 
Ursula, by Memling, 
1475-85, Bruges). 


Fig. 25. 

Construction of Jack. 

A. Outside. 

B. Plates with cover 
and cords removed. 

1 1 64 metal plates^ (Fig. 25). In the Shuttleworth accounts published 
by the Chetham Society are to be found entries of yards of linen 
to make a "steel coat," a pound of slape or pitch, two dozen points or 

laces for two coats, and 1650 steel plates. The 
cost of the coat, inclusive of making, would 
come to about jTi. A cap, constructed in 
the same manner of small plates, is shown 
in the Burges Collection at the British Museum 
and is figured in the Guide to the Mediaeval 
Room on page 62. 

The brigandine was sometimes reinforced 
with large placcates of steel, one on each 
breast, riveted to the fabric which composed 
the whole defence. An example of this nature 
exists in the Waffensammlung at Vienna, and there are also several of 
these reinforcing plates, the brigandines of which have perished, in the 
Ethnological Museum at Athens (Fig. 26). These latter were found 
in the castle of Chalcis, which was taken by 
the Turks from the Venetians in 1470, so they 
can be dated with accuracy.^ On one of the 
plates is a mark which strongly resembles the 
mark of Antonio Missaglia (see Plates XI, XVI). 
These brigandines with solid breast-pieces are 
described in Appendix D, page 177. Both 
these plates and the example at Vienna are fitted 
with lance-rests which seem to be eminently 
unpractical, as the garment is more or less 
pliant and would not be of much use in 
sustaining the weight of a lance. The most 
curious of these reinforcing plates is to be 
found in the picture of S. Victor by Van der 
Goes, circ. 1450, which is now in the Municipal 
Gallery at Glasgow. Here the uppermost part of the torse is protected 
by strong plates of steel, but the abdomen is only covered by the 
brigandine (Fig. 27). As an example of this fashion of armour and as 

Fig. 26. 

Brigandine at Vienna, 
No. 130. 

^ Arch. J our 71., LX. 

2 u 

Italian Armour at Chalcis," C. Ifoulkes, Archaologia, LXII. 


a most careful representation of detail this picture is as valuable as it 
is unique. Splinted armour is practically the brigandine without a 
covering, but made usually of stronger plates or 
lames. The fact that the body was covered by 
a series of small plates ensured greater freedom 
and ease in movement than was possible with 

Fig. 27. S. Victor, by Van 
der Goes, Glasgow. 

Fig. 28. Effigy at Ash Church, Kent, fourteenth century. 

solid breast and back plates. The monument in 
Ash Church and the statue of S. George at Prague 
are good examples of the splinted armour of the 
fourteenth century (Figs. 28, 29). 

That the skill of the sixteenth-century ar- 
mourer surpassed that of the present-day crafts- 
man is evident after careful examination of some 
of the triple-combed Burgonets and Morions of 
the middle of the century. They are often found 
forged in one piece with no sign of join or 
welding, and what is more remarkable still, there 
is but little difference in the thickness of the 
metal all over the piece. Now, when a smith 
hollows out a plate of metal into a bowl-like form, 
the edges are generally thicker than the inside of 
the bowl ; but in many of these head-pieces the 
metal is almost of equal thickness all over, a tour 
de force which few metal-workers to-day could 
imitate.^ This thinning of the metal was utilized 
to a great extent in the different portions of the 
suit which were not exposed to attack. As will be found in the chapter 

1 Cf. Baron de Cosson, Arch. Jouriu, XXXVII, p. 79. 

Fig. 29. Statue of S. George, 
Prague, 1375. 


on " Proof," the back-plates were generally thinner than the breasts. In 
jousting-helms the top of the skull, which, from the position of the rider 
when jousting, was most exposed to the lance, was generally much thicker 
than the back of the helm, where there was no chance of attack. 

Again, the left side of both jousting and war harness is frequently 
thicker than the right, for it was here that the attack of both lance and 
sword was directed. Up to the middle of the fifteenth century the 
shield, hung on the left arm, was used as an extra protection for this 
the more vulnerable side of the man-at-arms, but it seriously interfered 
with the management of the horse. By the sixteenth century it was 
discarded and the armour itself made stronger on the left side both by 
increased thickness and also by reinforcing pieces such as the Grand- 
garde, the Passgarde, and the Manteau d'armes. 

Perhaps the most ingenious contrivance used in making the suit of 
armour is the sliding rivet (Fig. 30). This contrivance has come to be 

called the "Almain rivet" in 
modern catalogues in a sense 
never found in contemporary 
documents. In these documents 
the "Almain rivet" is a light 
half-suit of German origin, made 
up of breast, back, and tassets, 
with sometimes arm - pieces. 
The word "rivet" was employed 
in the sixteenth century for a suit 
of armour, for Hall uses the word 
frequently in his Chronicles. This word is therefore more probably 
derived from the same root as the French revetir^ rather than from the 
rivets which were used in the making of the suit. Up to the sixteenth 
century the rivet as we know it to-day is always called an "arming- nail," 
and it is only in the middle of the sixteenth century that we find the word 
rivet used as part of the armourer's stock-in-trade. These light suits were 
put together with sliding rivets, which have at the present day received the 
name originally given to the whole suit. The head of the rivet is burred 
over and fixed in the upper plate, but the lower plate is slotted for about 
three-quarters of an inch, so that it will play up and down on the shank 

Fig. 30. 

2 3 
Sliding rivet showing' (i) front, (2) side, 
(3) back. 




of the rivet and give more freedom of action than the fixed rivet ; at the 
same time it will not allow the two plates to slide so far apart as will 
uncover the limb or body of the wearer. These sliding rivets were used 
to join the upper and lower portions of the breastplate which was in 
fashion in the last years of the fifteenth century, so as to allow a certain 
amount of movement for the torse backwards and forwards. They were 
also employed to join the taces, which needed a certain amount of play 
when mounting a horse or when sitting. When the "lobster-tail" cuisse 
superseded the taces and tassets in the late sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries they were used instead of the fixed rivets for joining the lames 
of the cuisse. 

The most ingenious arrangement of sliding rivets, however, is to be 
found on the brassards of the late fifteenth to the seventeenth century. 
As has been noticed on page 6, the armourer had to consider in this 
case both the defensive needs of his patron and also the necessity for 
using his arm as conveniently as was consistent with safety. 

Now the only actions needed for the right arm are those of holding 
the lance in rest and of striking with the sword. The arm-defence 
therefore had to be so constructed that the arm could be bent for the 
former and raised for the latter. To do this the lames of the rerebrace 
are joined with sliding rivets at the hinder corners, but at the front 
corners they are joined with a strap fastened vertically to the top plate 
of the brassart and riveted, when extended straight, to each lame. 

This allows play for the lames in the two above-mentioned positions, 
but when the arm is dropped, after the blow has been delivered, the 
lames automatically close one over the other and completely protect 
the arm and allow no backward movement. 

The same arrangement is found on the laminated cuisses and tassets, 
in which the inner edges of the lames are joined by a strap and the 
outer by sliding rivets. This combination of sliding rivet and strap is 
shown on Fig. 7 and on Plate IX. 

Another ingenious arrangement on the brassard is the turned-over 
edge or the embossed rim fitting in a collar, both of which allow the 
lower part of the rerebrace to turn horizontally to adapt it to the out- 
ward action of the hand and arm. In most suits the bossings of the 
rims are outside, but on the Engraved Suit " (II, 5) in the Tower they 


are inside. The former gives a smooth surface to the wearer's arm and 
the latter presents a smooth surface to the opposing weapon (Fig. 31). 

A similar rim and collar are found on close helmets and gorgets of 
the sixteenth century (Plate XIII). Meyrick/ misreading Fauchet's^ 
reference to the burgonet, considered this helmet with a lower edge 

fitting into the gorget to be the 
burgonet, but he brought no real 


evidence to support his assertion. 
11 Although the helmet and gorget 
5) fitted one over the other and there- 
^ f( 

ore surmounted one of the chief 
dangers in war or joust, when the 
lance might penetrate the space 
between these two portions of the 
suit, it will be seen on examination 
of any suit of this kind that from 
the oblique position of the gorget 
the embossed rim of the helmet 
could not possibly turn in the 
hollowed rim of the gorget, so 
that it can only be considered as 
a defensive improvement which in 
no way added to the convenience 
in use, if anything it rather ham- 
pered the wearer, as he could only 
turn his head inside the helmet 
and that to no great extent. In 
some late suits a pin fixed at the back of the gorget comes through 
a hole in the lower edge of the helmet and prevents any possible 

It is almost superfluous to mention the straps which join the various 
portions of the suit. These are always placed, where possible, in 
positions where they are protected from injury ; as, for example, on the 
jambs they are on the inside of the leg, next to the horse when the 
wearer is mounted, and the hinge of the jamb being of metal is on 

Fig. 31. Sections of Rerebraces. 

1. "Engraved Suit," Tower, II, 5, 1514. 

2. Tower, II, 6, 1540. 

3. Tower, II, 7, 1570. 

4. Wallace Collection, 340. 

^ Ant'tent Armour, IT, 164. 

Origifies des Chevalivers, etc., 1 606, p. I42. 


the outside. In some cases the end of the strap after 
being buckled fits into a shoe " bossed out of the 
armour plate (Fig. 33). 

It is practically impossible to notice the various 
forms of turning or locking pins used for joining parts 
of a suit. The general principle is that of a turning 
rivet with a flat, fan, or hook shaped head which, fitting 
into an oblong slot in the upper plate, can be turned 
at right angles to hold the two plates together. There 
are many varieties of this fastening, based upon the same 
principle, but those existing at the present day are often 
modern restorations. In suits for the joust or tourney 
these adjustable fastenings could not always be depended 
upon, and the great helm, the manteau d'armes, and the fig- 

^ , ^ P , .... Gauntlet of Sir 

passgarde were orten screwed on to the suit with square Henry Lee, Ar- 
or polygonal headed bolts tightened with a spanner. Lo^idon"^^ 

The gauntlet was sometimes capable of being 
locked, for the unfingered flap which covered the fingers was prolonged 

52. Locking 







Fig. 33. 

Locking hooks, turning pins, and strap-cover. 

SO as to reach the wrist, 
where it fastened over a 
pin. This was used in foot 
jousts to prevent the weapon 
from being struck out of 
the hand and is sometimes 
called the " forbidden 
gauntlet," an absurd term 
when we consider that 
many fine suits are provided 
with this appliance, which 
would not be the case if its 
use were not allowed (Fig. 
32, also Plate XXII). 

A few of the fastenings 
used to hold the different 
parts of the suit together are 
shown on Fig. 33. The 


hook (No. i) is found on the armets made by Topf (page 21 and Plate 
XIII). Here the hook A is shown in position fastening the visor over a 
button D. When it is necessary to open the visor a leather thong which 
was attached at C is pulled and at the same time the button F is pressed. 
This depresses a spring riveted to the visor at G and projecting with a 
small tongue at E. The depression of E allows the hook to be moved 
back and the visor to be raised. When the hook is moved forward to close 
the visor the tongue E springs up and locks the whole firmly. No. 2 of 
the same figure is another contrivance for locking plates together, and 
is found on 695, Wallace Collection, and elsewhere. C C C is the 
section of the armour plate. The hook is pivoted at C and is fitted 
with a spring at D. When the leather lace at A is pulled the tongue 
of the hook B is brought back flush with the plate C and allows 
the visor to be raised. When the visor is closed the hook springs back 
to its position and locks the plates together. No. 3 is a catch of the 
same kind, but is worked by a spring of the same kind as that which 
locks the " Topf" hook. The pressing of the button A sets back the 
hook B, which is riveted to the plate at D. No. 4 is a " spring pin," 
or " federzapfen " as they are called in German and auberon " in 
French. The small flange let into the pin is kept pressed outwards by 
a spring and is pressed back to slip the pauldron, in which is a hole 
cut for the purpose, over the pin. No. 5 shows a series of turning 
pins which are riveted to the lower plate in taces, cuisses, tassets, etc., 
but can be turned at will. The upper plates that are fastened by these 
pins are pierced with narrow oblong slits through which the flat head 
of the pin can be passed ; a turn at right angles locks the two plates 
closely. No. 6 is an ingenious contrivance found on 1086, Wallace 
Collection. The armour plate is bossed upwards to form a covering 
for the free end of the strap when buckled, to prevent the chance of 
this loose piece of leather being cut ofi^ or of hindering the wearer in 
any way. 

On Fig. 34 is shown the support for the j ousting- sallad, without 
which it was always liable to be struck off". It is screwed with wing 
nuts to the crest of the sallad and to the back of the cuirass. The 
reinforcing piece for face and breast of the same nature as the men- 
tonniere and grandguard. These various methods of fastening plates 



together can be only studied to advantage by careful examination of 
actual suits, and even here there is always the chance that they may be 
modern restorations. Perhaps the most elaborately contrived suit in 
existence is that made for Henry VIII for fighting on foot in the lists 
(Tower, II, 28). This covers the wearer com- 
pletely with lames back and front, and allows as 
much movement as is possible in a suit weighing 
93 lb. (Plate VIII). It is composed of 235 
separate pieces, all of different form. There 
are similar suits in the Musee d'Artillerie, Paris 
(G, 178, 179) of a more ornate character. The 
cuisse of one of these suits is shown on Plate XI 
and the inside of the cuisse of the Tower suit 
on Plate IX. While dealing with this question 
of the pieces that compose a suit, it should be 
noted that the " Leicester " suit in the Tower 
(II, 10) is made up of 194 pieces, and a suit at 
Madrid (A, 164, the " Muhlberg " suit of Charles V) requires one 
mounted and six unmounted figures to show it off completely. 

Fig. 34 

Bracket for jousting- 
sallad and reinforcing bevor, 
Dresden, C, 3, 4. 


1 32 1. Edward II sends David le Hope, armour-smith, to Paris to learn 

the method of making sword-blades for battle. 

1322. Regulations concerning the covering of helmets with fabric and the 
selling of old and broken helmets. Arm. Co.., Lond. (see Appendix A). 

1 347. Regulations of the Heaumers' Co. City of London Letter Book., F, 
fol. cxlii (see Appendix B). 

1355. The Mayor and Sheriffs of London ordered to appraise the armour 
in the armourers' shops. Rymer, III., v, 817. 

1365. The armourers of London are in full work, but the results are not 
satisfactory. The King (Edward HI) insists on proof or trade 
marks. " Certa signa sua super omnibus operationibus suis ponant." 
Rymer, III, 772. 

1386. Armourers are forbidden to increase the prices of their wares. 
Rymer, III, 546. 



408. Oct. 12. Petition to the Mayor and Aldermen of London against 
foreign importers who use marks similar to English marks, and 
praying to keep the price fixed and regulated by the masters of the 
cutlers and bladesmiths jointly. Agreed to by the Mayor. City 
of London Letter Books, l^fol. Ixxi. 

434. This is very similar to the Ordinances of the Hastings MS. noticed 
in Archceologia, LVII. It is given here in full, as it is the only 
literary effort of an armourer that is known in England. Treatise 
on Worship in Arms, by Johan Hill, armourer (Bod. Lib. Ash., 856) 
(see Appendix C). 

436. Proclamation forbidding the armourers to increase their prices, 
Fcedera, Rymer, X, 647. 

509. Sir Nicholas Vaux, Lieutenant at Guisnes, orders all the garrison to 
be English except gunners, crossbow-makers, spies, beer-brewers, 
armourers, and smiths. Cal. State Papers, Hen. Fill, Vol. I. 

511. Payments made for a forge for Milanese armourers at Greenwich. 

514. The armourers from Brussels are installed by Henry VIH at 


515. Almain or German armourers mentioned as King's servants. 

544. A complete account of the charges of the King's Armoury, with 
wages of the workmen. Brit. Mus., Cott. App. XXVIII, 75 (see 
Appendix F). 

.$$6. Sir John Mason reports to the Council that he has obtained 50 
fardels of plate for harness provided by the Schorers from Augs- 
burg. In Considerations delivered to 'Parliament in l^^Q it is suggested 
" that iron mills be banished out of the realme, where wood was 
formerly id. the load at the stalk now by reason of the iron mills 
it is 2/- the load. Formerly Spanish iron was sold for 5 marks the 
ton now there are iron mills English iron is sold at 9/-." This 
may be the key to the question of importation of armour ready 
made. Evidently the use of wood in iron-smelting presented a 
serious difficulty. As may be seen in the chapter on Iron (p. 40), 
the use of wood in the furnaces was considered a grave danger, as 
it took material which should have been used for shipbuilding. 
The English forests were limited and had not the vast acreage of 
the German woods, so that the deforestation was merely a question 
of time. 

1578. Inquiry as to a dispute between the armourers and blacksmiths as 
to right of search for armour, etc. The judges state that " the 
Armourers did show us that King Edward the Second did grant to 
the Lord Maior and his bretheren the searche with the armourers." 
Records Arm. Co., London. 


1580. Sir Henry Lee made Master of the Armouries, 

1590. Petition of the armourers of London to Queen EHzabeth against the 
importation of foreign armour and workmen. Lansdowne MS.^ 
63, 5 (see Appendix G). 

161 1. Survey and inventory of all armour, etc., in the armouries of the 
Tower, Greenwich, and Windsor in the late custody of Sir Henry 
Lee, deceased, and now of Sir Thos. Monson, Master of the 
Armoury. State Papers Domestic, Jac. /, Ixiv, June 8. 

1 6 14. Warrant to pay to Wm. Pickering, Master of the Armoury at 
Greenwich, ^^200, balance of ^^340, for armour gilt and graven 
for the late Prince. Sign. Man., Vol. IV, 29. 

This suit, made for Henry, Prince of Wales, is now in the 
Royal Collection at Windsor (see Plate XX). 

161 8. Undertaking of the Armourers' Company to make certain armours 
every six months and the prices of the same. Records of the 
Armourers Company of London (see Appendix H). 

1619. Proclamation against the excessive use of gold and silver foliate 

except for armour and ensigns of honour. S.P.D.Jac. I, cv, Feb., 
Proclamations, 65 (see Appendix I). 

1 62 1. Gild of Armourers and Smiths incorporated at Shrewsbury by 
James L The " Arbor " of the Gild existed at Kingsland in 
1862. The Gild carried a figure of Vulcan dressed in black 
armour in their processions. Their motto was " With hammer 
and hand all hearts do stand." The armour is in the Museum 
at Shrewsbury. Reliquary, Vol. III. 

1624. Erection of plating-mills at Erith by Capt. John Martin. S.P.D. 
Jac. I, clxxx, 71 (see Appendix J), 

1625. Falkner asks for an inquiry as to the condition of the Royal 

Armouries. S.P.D. Car. I, xiii, 96. 

1627. Report of George, Earl of Totnes, on Falkner's petition advising 
John Cooper, Keeper of the King's Brigandines, to surrender his 
patent. S.'P.D. Car. I, liv, i. 

Cooper refuses to surrender unless his arrears of 1 6d. a day for a year 
and a half are paid. S.P.D. Car. I, Iv, 70. 

1627. Petition of Falkner (Fawcknor) as to the condition of the armouries, 
S.P.D. Car. I, Ixxxiv, 5. 

1628. Order to gun-makers, saddlers, and cutlers to bring patterns of their 

wares. S.P.D. Car. I, xcv, March 10. 

1628. Whetstone's project to make armour lighter and as good as proof. 
S.P.D. Car. I, Ixxxix, 23. No details as to the process are given 
in this entry. 


1630. Inquiry into the work done in the State armouries of the Tower, 

Greenwich, etc., with hsts of the Remaines, moved by Roger 
Falkenor. S.P.D., c/xxix, 65. The whole of this document is 
given in Antient Armour, Sir S. Meyrick, III, 78. 

1 63 1. Regulations respecting the use of a hall-mark by the Armourers' 

Company. Rymer, XIX, 309 (see Appendix K). 

1635. Petition of the Workmen Armourers of London who are now old 

and out of work. S.P.D. Car. /, cctxxxix, 93 (see Appendix L). 

1636. Benjamin Stone, blade-maker, of Hounslow Heath, states that he 

has, at his own charge of ^,^6000, perfected the art of blade-making, 
and that he can make " as good as any that are made in the Chris- 
tian world." S.P.D. Car. I, cccxli, 132. 

1660. A survey of the Tower Armoury and the Remaines contained there- 
in. This was taken after the Civil War and shows that much of 
the working plant had been scattered. Harl. MS. 7457 (see 
Appendix M). 

1666. "Armour of the Toyras provision with headpeeces whereof made 
in England to be worn with the said armes." Tower Inv. sub ann. 
Meyrick considers that this was made at Tours, but brings no 
evidence to support his statement. It may have been part of the 
equipment of the infantry under Marechal de Toiras, who assisted 
Charles I against the Huguenots in La Rochelle in 1625. Several 
breastplates in the Tower are stamped "Toiras." 

1666. Col. Wm. Legge appointed Master of the Armoury. Legge was 
Governor of Chester in 1644, Governor of Oxford in 1645, was 
offered and declined an earldom by Charles II, and died in 1672. 
His eldest son was created Baron Dartmouth. 

1685, An ordinance of James IT that all edged tools, armour, and all 
copper and brass made with the hammer in the city of London 
should be approved by the Armourers' Company. Records of the 

There are no details relating to the lives of any of the known English 
armourers that are worth recording. Pickering, the pupil of Topf, was 
the most celebrated, and the record of his position of Master of the 
Armourers' Company will be found under that heading. John Blewbery, 
whose name occurs in several entries in the Letters and Papers Foreign 
and Domestic, seems to have been merely the master- workman, and we 
have no evidence that he attained to a higher position. His name 
does not appear in the existing records of the Armourers' Company. 
Asamus or Erasmus Kyrkenor first appears in a list of payments in i 5 1 8. 



He was employed to make candlesticks and for " garnishing books " 
with clasps, etc., in 1529, when presumably there was a slack time in 
the armouries. There are further entries of this nature in i 530, 1531, 
and 1532, in which year he "garnished" eighty-six books. In 1538 
he was made Brigandarius to the King, vice John Gurre, deceased ; but 
we find no details as to the duties of this office, which was continued to 
the reign of Charles I, when it became the subject of a complaint from 
Roger Falknor (Appendix J). In 1 547 we find Erasmus in charge of the 
Greenwich Armoury, and in 1593 a note of the will of Wm. and Robt. 
Mighill states that they were the grandsons of Erasmus Kirkenor, 

A list of English armourers is given on page 126. 


AS soon as the armed man realized that iron and steel were the best 
/ % defences for his body, he would naturally insist that some sort 

^ of a guarantee should be given him of the efficacy of the goods 
supplied by his armourer. This system of proving armour would be 
effected by using those weapons most commonly in use, and these, in 
the early times, were the sword, the axe, the lance, the bow, and the 
crossbow. The latter seems to have been the more common form of 
proof, though as late as the seventeenth century we have evidence that 
armour was proved with the " estrama^on " or sword blow.^ 

In considering the proof of mail we are met with certain terms 
which are somewhat difficult of explanation, but which evidently are 
intended to convey the fact that the mail mentioned was of especially 
good quality. These terms are " haute cloueur," " demi-cloueur," 
" botte cassee," and "botte." 

M. Charles Buttin,^ in his studies on the arms used for proving 
armour, considers that " botte " is here used to denote a blow in the 
sense that it is used in fencing for a thrust or a lunge (It. botta). The 
word "cassee" he takes to be derived also from the Italian " casso," 
vain or empty. 

The term "haute" or " demi-cloueurs " seems rather to suggest the 
single or double riveting of each link of mail. Ordinary mail is either 
welded or joined with one rivet, but in some cases, as in III, 339, 
Tower, two rivets are used to obtain increased strength for the fabric 
(see also page 44). 

Mail seems to have been proof against arrows at a very early period, 
for we find in the Chronicon Colmariense^ under the year 1398, the 
statement that the men-at-arms wore " camisiam ferream, ex circulis 
ferreis contextam, per quae nulla sagitta arcus poterat hominem vulne- 
rare." The earliest entry of this mail of proof is found in the Inventory 

1 Gaya, op. cit. ^ Revue Savoisietine, 1 906, fasc. 4. 




of Louis X (le Hutin) of France, which is here given together with 
other entries of the different expressions used with regard to proof of 
this nature. 

1 316. Inventory of Louis le Hutin. Bib. Richel.., MS. Jr., 7^SS' 

Item uns pans^ et uns bras de roondes mailles de haute cloueur. 
Uns de meme d'acier plus fors. 

Item uns couverture a cheval . . . de jaseran de fer, uns de mailes 
rondes demy clouees. 

In this entry there is evidently a variety of mail which is even 
stronger than that of "haute cloueur," but this may possibly be of stouter 
or better-tempered metal. The horse-armour would not need to be of 
such high proof as that of the man, because from its form it would be 
more or less in folds when the horse was in action and would therefore 
present double thicknesses to the weapon. An illustration of the mail- 
clad horse is given in the present writer's Armour and Weapons^ and 
also in Monumenta Vetusia^ Vol. VI. 

1390. Archives Camerales de 'Turin Comptes Tres. gen. de Savoie, No. 38, 
fol. 62V. 

Achettez de Simond Brufaler armeur, de mons . . . per le pris de 
un auberjon d'acier de toute botte. 

This expression " de toute botte" suggests that the armour was 
proof against all blows, that is from the sword, the axe — the "estra- 
ma^on " above alluded to — and also against the bow and the crossbow. 
In 161 2 Sturtevant in his Metallica writes on page 62 that the iron- 
worker should "make things stronger than the Exact strength which 
the thing is to have," and we find this borne out in an extract from the 
Armerie di Roma, Arch. Stat. c. 150, of the date 1627, which mentions 
old armour "a botta" which had been proved with "due e tre colpi dell' 
arma alia quale dovevano resistere."^ 

The proof by the crossbow is mentioned by Angellucci in a note, 
quoting from the tArch. Gonz, Copialett.^ T. II, c. 65: "et si te mande- 
remo doi veretoni di nostri saldi, como i quali tu farai aprovare la ditta 
coraza como uno bono balestro di cidello."^ The last-mentioned weapon 
is the " arbalest a tour " or windlass crossbow. It would seem from 
M. Buttin's researches that the armour " a toute epreuve" was proved by 

^ Panzer, body-armour. ^ Cat. Armeria Reale Turiti, 1 29. 


crossbow and sword, and that "a demi epreuve" by the smaller lever 
crossbow or by the javelin thrown by hand. These varieties of proof 
were indicated by the marks stamped upon them, one mark for the single 
and two for the double (see page 65). In some documents we have 
definite entries of arrows used for proof, which would naturally have 
exceptionally well-tempered points : — 

1378. Reg. de la Cloison d' Angers., No. 6. 

Pour deux milliers de fer pour viretons partie d'espreuve et autre 
partie de fer commun. 

The " vireton " was a crossbow-bolt which had spiral wings of 
metal or wood so fitted that it revolved in its course. 

141 6, Compt de Gilet Baudry, Arch. Mun. Orleans. 

Fleches a arc empannees a cire et ferres de fers d'espreuve. 

Here the "feathering" of the arrow with copper is specified, for 
it was this metal wing which, acting like the propeller of a boat, caused 
the arrow to revolve with increased velocity. 

These arrows of proof cost double the price of ordinary arrows, 
for we have entries of such projectiles in the year 141 9 costing 8s. the 
dozen, while the ordinary quality cost but 4s. the dozen. ^ 

Details of the regulations of setting proof marks upon armour will 
be found in Appendices B, E, K. 

The proving of brigandines was most carefully carried out, for in 
some instances every separate plate was stamped with the proof mark. 
In the Paris Collection double proof marks are found on the brigandine 
G, 206, and a similar double mark appears stamped on the Missaglia 
suit G, 3, but of a different design. The helmet of Henry VIII on 
II, 29 (Tower) also bears the double proof mark of one of the Missaglia 
family (Plate X). It would be tedious and unnecessary to give a list of 
those armours which bear these proof marks, for they are to be found 
in every armoury of note in Europe ; but it will be of some profit to quote 
various extracts showing the reason and the effects of proofs or trials of 

In the sixteenth century the firearm had become a serious factor in 
warfare, therefore the proof was decided by submitting the armour to 
pistol or musket shot. 

^ Rev. Savoisienne, 1 906, fasc. 4, p. 3. 







1347. Regulations of the Heaumers of London (original in Norman-French), 
City of London Letter Book, F^fol. cxlii. 

Also that helmetry and other arms forged by the hammer . . . shall 
not from henceforth in any way be offered for sale privily or openly 
until they have been properly assayed by the aforesaid Wardens and 
marked with their marks (see Appendix B). 

1448. Statutes des Armuriers Fourbisseurs d' Angers. 

It. les quels maisters desd. mestiers seront tenus besoigner et faire 
ouvrage et bonnes etoffes, c'est assavoir pour tant que touche les 
armuriers, ils feront harnois blancs pour hommes d'armes, de toute 
epreuve qui est a dire d'arbalestes a tilloles et a coursel a tout le moins 
demie espreuve . . . marquees de 2 marques . . . et d'espreuve 
d'arbaleste a crocq et traict d'archier, marquees d'une marque (see 
Appendix E). 

The "arbaleste a tilloles" was the large bow bent with a windlass, 
the ^^arbaleste k crocq" was smaller and was bent with a hook fastened 
to the waist of the archer (see Payne Gallwey, The Crossbow). 

1537. Discipline Militaire, Langey, I, chap, xxii, pp. 79, 80. 

... les Harnois soient trop foibles pour resister a I'Artillerie ou a 
I'Escopeterie, neantmoins ils defendent la personne des coups de 
Pique de Hallebarde, d'Epee, du Trait, des Pierres, des Arbalestes, 
et des Arcs. . . . Et par fois une Harquebuze sera si mal chargee 
ou si fort eschauffee ou pourra tirer de si loin, que le Harnois pour 
peu qu'il soit bon sauvera la vie d'un homme. 

The above writer considers, and with reason, that when the un- 
certainty of firearms was taken into consideration defensive armour was 
of much practical use ; and this theory was held as late as the eighteenth 
century, for Marshal Saxe in his Les Reveries^ warmly recommends 
the use of defensive armour, especially for cavalry, as he considers that 
a large proportion of wounds were caused by sword, lance, or spent 
bullets. It was evidently from reasons such as the above that a reliable 
proof by pistol or musket shot was insisted upon, for the armour of the 
Due de Guise in the Musee d'Artillerie (G, 80) is of great thickness 
and weighs 42 kilos. It has either been tested by the maker or has 
seen service, for there are three bullet marks on the breastplate, neither 
of which has penetrated.^ 

1 Edit. 1756, p. 58. 

^ A half-suit in the possession of H. MofFat, Esq., Goodrich Court, formerly the property of New 
College, Oxford, has a heavy " plastron " or reinforcing piece. The bullet has dented this and also the 
cuirass underneath. The head-piece and back-plate are pierced by bullets. 


1569. Arch. cur. de Nantes^ I, col. 305. 

612 corps de cuyrace . . . garnis de haulzecou . . . desquelz le 
devant sera a I'espreuve d'arquebuse et le derriere de pistol. 

The terms "high proof," "caliver proof," and "musket proof" often 
occur in writings of this period and onwards up to the time when armour 
was discarded ; but it is difficult to get any definite information as to 
how the proof was made. In the above entry there are two kinds of 
proof, which show that the back-plate was thinner than the breastplate, 
the resisting power being obtained not only by temper of metal, but also 
by its thickness. 

1568. Les Armuriers frangais et etrangers, Giraud, pp. 191, 192. 

Ung corps de cuirasse lequel sera a I'espreuve de la pistolle, ung 
habillement de teste a I'esprouve de la pistolle, brassartz . . . 
a I'esprove de la pistolle, tassettes courtes a I'esprouve de la pistolle. 

Here is evidently a necessary definition of each piece. Probably on 
some former occasion the armourer had classed the whole suit as of proof 
when such a description might only be honestly given to the cuirass. 
Accounts of actual trials are rare, but the following extract is of interest 
as showing the methods employed in England. It is given in full, with 
many valuable extracts bearing on the craft of the armourer, by Viscount 
Dillon, in Arcbceologia^ Vol. LI. The extract is taken from a letter from 
Sir Henry Lee, Master of the Armoury in 1580, to Lord Burghley, and 
bears the date Oct. 12, 1590. 

The first part of the letter states that a gentleman of Shropshire was 
anxious that the metal mined in his county should be used for armour 
instead of the German iron which at this time was considered to be the 
best in the market. Sir Henry writes : "To give the more credyte to 
that stuffe to the armourers of London and to Jacobi the Mr. workman 
of Grenewhyche, the Counsell apoynt in there presence that Sr. Robarte 
Constable and my cossyn John Lee shoulde see a proofe made wh. by 
tryall proved most usefull." The "Shropshire gentleman" sent Sir 
Henry "a new brest beyng sent owt of the country of gret litenes and 
strengthe as he was made beleve," and entrusted him to "cause another 
of the very same wayght to be made in her Matys office of Greenwhyche, 
wh. I presently performed." Pistols were then loaded with equal charges 
and fired at the two breastplates, with the result that "that made in the 



Offyce and of the metall of Houngere^ helde out and more than a littel 
dent of the pellet nothinge perced, the other clene shotte thereowe and 
much tare the overpart of a heme the Brest studde upon as longe as my 
fyngeers. Thus muche for the Ynglyshe metall." 

From time to time, as has been noticed before, there had been 
efforts to wrest the monopoly of the supply of metal for armour from the 
foreigner, but here was a very tangible proof of the superiority of the 
alien material. It is true that the Shropshire breastplate appears to have 
been sent from that county for the test, while the foreign metal was 
made up by the highly skilled workmen in the Royal Armoury at 
Greenwich under the eye of Jacobi (Topf), a master-craftsman who can 
have had but few rivals at that time. Possibly he may have possessed 
some secrets of tempering and hardening his metal which were unknown 
to less experienced smiths, and so have obtained the award of superiority 
for the metal of his own country. Topf had migrated to England from 
Innsbruck and must certainly have had friends among the iron-merchants 
of that locality. So his interests were obviously on the side of the foreign 

It may be only romance or it may be fact, but certainly Oliver de 
la Marche,^ writing about the year 1450, describes some such process 
of tempering armour after it was made. " Boniface avoit trempe son 
harnois d'une eau qui le tenoit si bon que fer ne povoit prendre sus." 
It is not to be suggested that it was a special kind of water that was 
used for this, but rather that it was some method of heating and cooling 
the metal which was employed. Angellucci, in the Catalogue of the 
Armeria Reale^ Turin (p. 129), quotes, from documents of the sixteenth 
century, the account of a breastplate made by Colombo, an armourer 
of Brescia, being spoiled because he had used excessive charges for his 
pistol or musket. 

1602. MUice frangais, Montgomery, Pt. II, p. 187. 

Les chevau-legers estoient armez d'armes completes d'une cuirasse 
a I'epreuve. Le reste estoit a la legere. 

The last detail shows that the back-pieces were much lighter than the 
proof breastplates, and this is borne out by other similar entries during the 
century. Evidently the efficacy of the musket had increased in the first 

1 Hungarian or Innsbruck iron. ^ Memories, I, xxi (edit. 1884). 


years of the seventeenth century and with it the weight of the proved 
armour. In later entries we find that pistol proof is of more frequent 
occurrence, and from this we may gather that the weight of metal was 
a serious hindrance to the soldier and that he preferred the risk of a 

Still there are cases to be found of complete proof, for in 1605 ^^^^ 
the brayette was of proof {Arch. Gov. Brescia Privil.^ R. 7, V, p. 10),^ 
and if this small, in fact the smallest, portion of the armour was proved, 
we may be sure that the whole suit was tested equally. 

In 1628-9 we learn from the State Papers Domestic, Ixxxix, 23, that 
one Whetstone had a project for making Hght armour as good as proof, 
but there are no details of his methods. It is quite probable, in most 
cases, that when one piece of the armour was proved the rest were made 
of similar material and tempered in the same way, and that actual proof 
was not expected or given. An interesting extract from the Memorials 
of the Verney Family.^ IV, 30, gives us some information as regards the 
proof of armour : — 

1 667, Feb. Richard Hals is choosing some armour for his cousin in London : 
he has tested it with as much powder as will cover the bullet in the 
palme of his hand. 

This rough-and-ready method of estimating the charge is borne out 
in Gaya's Traite des ^Armes^ P* 3° (Reprint 191 1, Clarendon Press). 

The Verney extract goes on to say that Verney wished to have the 
armour tested again, but the armourer refused, for by this time it was 
finished, and he said that "it is not the custom of workmen to try their 
armour after it is faced and filed." 

This suit cost £\\ 2s. 8d., and when it was delivered Verney was 
by no means pleased, as it did not fit.^ A clear proof that armour 
was tested before it was finished is to be found on the suit made by 
Garbagnus of Brescia for Louis XIV of France, now in the Musee 
d'Artillerie (G, 125). M. Buttin^ in noticing this suit describes it as 
" La magnifique armure offerte aLouisXIVpar la Republique de Venise," 
but in this we must certainly hold a different opinion, for the production, 
although elaborately engraved, is perhaps the best example of the deca- 
dence of the craft of the armourer, so graceless and clumsy are its lines 

' Cat. Arineria Renle Turin^ p. 73 note. See page I05. ^ Rev. Savoisie/we, I901, fasc. 2 and 3. 






and proportions. The proof mark is upon the left of the breastplate, 
at the point where the lower edge of the pauldron ends. It has been 
made the centre of a double-petalled rose, showing plainly that the bullet 
mark was there before the engraver began his work. A similar mark at 
the back is made the centre of a flower (Fig. 35). The document 

F"iG. 35. Detail showing proof mark on breast of suit of 
Louis XIV, Mus. d'Art, Paris, G, 125. 

relating to the "proof mark" of the Armourers' Company of London 
will be found in Appendix K. 

Gay a in his Traite des ^rmes^ 1678, referred to above, states on 
page 53 that the casque and front of the cuirass should be of musket 
proof, but the other parts need only be of pistol or carbine proof. In 
speaking of head-pieces he states, on the same page, that the heavier 
kinds were proved with musket-shot, but the light varieties were only 


tested with "estrama^on" or sword-cut ; and he adds that for armour 
to be good it must be beaten and worked cold and not hot. 

We have seen how armour was proved and how the proof mark of 
crossbow-bolt or bullet is often found as a witness to the fact. In addi- 
tion to this we frequently find the mark or poin^on of the armourer, 
which invariably means that the piece is of good workmanship and 
worthy of notice. 

Like all the other craft gilds, that of the armourer was very jealous 
of the reputation of its members. The tapestry weavers of Flanders 
were obliged to mark, in some cases, every yard of their production ; 
and so in fine suits of armour we find many of the individual pieces that 
go to make up the suit stamped with the maker's mark and also with the 
stamp of the town. These town stamps are mostly found in German 
work from Nuremberg, Augsburg, etc. We find the name Arbois used 
on some Burgundian armour, but never are the names of Italian or French 
towns stamped. With the sword this rule does not hold good, for the 
Spanish, Italian, and German makers frequently used the town of origin 
as a mark in addition to their own. Toledo, Passau, Ferara, Solingen 
are all found upon swords, and are very often stamped upon blades of 
an entirely different nationality. This forgery of the stamp may have 
been perpetrated with the intent to defraud, or it may simply have been 
used as a mark of excellence, like " Paris fashions " or " Sheffield steel " 
at the present day. The forgery of marks on suits of armour is very 
seldom met with and where it exists it is obviously done for ulterior 

The stamps take the form of signs such as the trefoil of Treytz, the 
monogram such as the "MY" of the Missaglias, and the crowned "A" 
of the Armourers' Company of London ; the rebus, as for example the 
helm used by the Colman (Helmschmied) family, or a combination of 
two or more of the above variety. 

About the year 1390 we have the following entry ; — 

Achettez de Symond Brufaler armeur ... 1 auberion d'acier de botte 
casse duquel toutes les mailes sunt seignier du seignet du maistre,^ 

This shows that in some cases every link of mail was stamped with 
the armourer's mark. In Oriental mail letters and sometimes words 

^ Arch. Cam. de Turin, Compte des Tres. gen. de Savoie, Vol. XXXIX, f. 163. 



from the Koran are stamped on each link, but we have no examples 
extant of European mail stamped with the maker's mark on each 

On May ii, 15 13, Richard Thyrkyll writes to Henry VIII from 
Antwerp saying that he can find no "harness of the fleur de lys" in 
any part of Brabant (Brit. Mus. Galba, B, III, 85). 

This probably refers to a trade-mark or poin^on well known as 
denoting metal of high temper. A brigandine in the Museum at Darm- 
stadt bears this mark repeated twice on each plate, showing that it was 
proof against the large crossbow (Fig. 36). Demmin (Guide des 
Amateurs d'Armes) gives a mark of a lion rampant 
as stamped on the plates of a brigandine in his collec- 
tion, and an example in the Musee d'Artillerie has the 
Nuremberg mark on each of the plates. 

In the case of mail a small label is sometimes found, fig. 36. Proof marks 

1 iri* 15 on a Brigandine plate, 

riveted on to the rabric, on which is the maker s stamp ; Darmstadt Museum 
an example of this is the eagle which is stamped on a 
label attached to the mail skirt G, 86, in the Armeria Reale, Turin (see 
Table of Marks, 59). In brigandines we sometimes find each of the 
small plates stamped with the maker's mark, which is held to be evidence 
of "proof." 

As we have seen from the entry under the date 1448, on page 65, 
the single stamp signified proof against the small crossbow and the double 
stamp proof against the heavy windlass-bow. 

As has been noticed above, the forgery or imitation of marks is more 
common on sword-blades than on defensive armour, and of these the 
wolf, dog, or fox of Passau is most frequently imitated. In some in- 
stances the representation is more or less life-like, but in others there is 
simply a crude arrangement of straight lines that suggest the head, legs, 
body, and tail of the animal. 

Stamping of armour was practised early in the middle of the four- 
teenth century, as will be seen in the Regulations of the Company of 
Heaumers transcribed in Appendix B. 

In Rymer's Foedera (XIX, p. 312) we find accounts for repairing 
and remodelling armour in the year 1631, and at the end of the 
list comes the entry " For stamping every harness fit to be allowed 


£o o o ", which shows that even armour that was remade from old 
material was subjected to tests, and also that these tests were recorded 
by a gratuitous stamp of the craftsman or of the company to which 
he belonged. 

The only entry extant which actually refers to the making of these 
stamps for armourers is given in the Mem. de la Soc. ^rch, de Tou- 
raine^ T. XX ^ pp. 268—9 {ylrch. de Tours ^ Grandmaison). 

1470. A Pierre Lambert orfevre, la somme de 55 s. t. . . . pour avoir fait et 
grave 6 poinsons de fer acerez pour marquer les harnois blancs et 
brigandines qui seroient faiz et delivrez en lad. ville, de la fa9on que 
le roy I'avait ordonne, et pour avoir retaille et ressue 2 desd. poin- 
sons qui estoient fenduz en marquant les harnois. 
A Jehan Harane orfevre, pour avoir grave les armes de la ville en 
2 poinsons de fer pour marquer les harnois et brigandines vendues 
en lad. ville 30 s. 

The number of armourers' marks known at present amounts to 
several hundred, but of the majority nothing is known as to ownership 
and history. A few of the principal marks in English and Continental 
collections are given on page 148. 



FROM the earliest times defensive armour has been more or less 
decorated and ornamented with more or less elaborate detail as 
the armourer became skilled in his craft and as the patron indulged 
in vanity or caprice. Perhaps the most astonishing work in this direction 
is the shoulder-piece of a cuirass known as the Siris bronze in the 
British Museum, which is of such elaborate repousse work that it is 
difficult to see how the tool can have been used from the back. It 
is not, however, the intention of this work to deal with Greek or Roman 
armour, or indeed with armour previous to the eleventh century ; other- 
wise its limits would have to be considerably enlarged. The ornamenta- 
tion of early armour, the employment of brass or latten rings, which 
formed patterns on the hauberk, called for no special skill on the part 
of the craftsman, and it is only when we come to the thirteenth century 
that we find traces of actual decoration on the pieces of plate which 
composed the suit. 

And here it should be remembered that the axiom of suitability was, 
in later years, forgotten, and the ever-important "glancing surface" 
was destroyed by designs in high relief, which not only retained the 
full shock of the opposing weapon, but also hindered the free movement 
of the several plates one over the other. The word "decoration" in 
itself suggests a "decorous" or suitable adornment, and this suitability 
was not always considered by the sixteenth and seventeenth century 

The use of jewels was always favoured among the nobility, and we 
find in the inventory of the effects of Piers Gaveston ^ plates ornamented 
with gold and silver and ailettes " frettez de perles." In 1352 King John 
of France and the Dauphin had elaborate head-pieces ornamented with 
jewels, and in 1385 the King of Castile wore a helmet at the battle of 
Aljubertota which was enriched with gold and valued at 20,000 francs.^ 

^ New Fcedera, II, 203. ^ Froissart (Johnes' trans.), II, 1 24. 

10 73 


Fig. 37. Poleynes on the 
brass of Sir Robert de 
Bures, Acton, Suffolk, 

The well-known brass of Sir John d'Aubernon, 1277, shows the 
first traces of the actual ornamentation of armour, which culminated in 
the work of Piccinino and PefFenhauser in the sixteenth century. Similar 

ornamentation is found on the brass of Sir Robert 
de Bures, 1302 (Fig. 37). It is possible that the 
poleynes shown on this brass and also the beinbergs 
on the figure of Guigliemo Berardi in the Cloisters of 
the Annunziata at Florence (Fig. 38) were made 
of cuir-bouilli and not metal, for there is not much 
incised or engraved iron found in domestic objects of 
this period (Fig. 37). But when we reach the end 
of the century we find a richly decorated suit of com- 
plete plate shown on the brass of an unknown knight 
of about the year 1400 which in no way suggests any 
material but iron or steel (Fig. 39). 

This engraving of armour, either by the burin 
or by etching with acid, was employed with more or less intricacy of 
detail from the beginning of the fifteenth century up to the period when 
armour was discarded; for the suits of Charles I (Tower, II, 19) and 
of Louis XIV of France (Musee d'Artillerie, G, 125) 
are almost entirely covered with fine engraving. The 
tradition is well known that the art of engraving and 
printing the results on paper was discovered by the 
Florentine metal-workers of the fifteenth century, who 
employed this expedient for proving their ornamental 
work upon various metals. In some cases the engraving 
of armour was merely the first process of the niello-work, 
in which the lines and spaces cut out were filled in with 
a black compound. Neither the engraving alone nor the 
niello- work in any way interfered with the utility of the 
armour, for the surface was still capable of a high polish fig 
and would still deflect the weapon. No better example 
of this could be found than the "Engraved Suit" made 
for Henry VIII by Conrad Seusenhofer (Tower, II, 5). Here the entire 
surface is covered with fine engraving of scenes from the lives of SS. 
George and Barbara, and of decorative designs of the royal badges — the 

8. Beinbergs 
on the statue of 
Guigliemo Berardi, 
Florence, 1289. 


Rose, the Portcullis, and the Pomegranate. Originally the whole suit 
was washed with silver, of which traces remain, but there was no attempt 
to destroy the utility of the armour. Indeed, it would have been a daring 
armourer who would have essayed such decoration 
when making a suit which was to be a present from 
Maximilian to Henry VIII, both of whom were 
among the most practised jousters in Europe (Plate 
XII). It was only when work in high relief was 
produced that this utility was destroyed. While 
condemning the neglect of true craft principles in 
this respect, we cannot but give our unstinted 
admiration for the skill in which this embossed 
armour was produced. The Negrolis, the Colmans, 
Campi, Lucio Piccinino, Peffenhauser, and Knopf 
were all masters of this form of applied art ; but 
the admiration which their work compels is that 
which we have for the work of a gold or silver 
smith, and not for that of the armourer. In some 
cases, it is true, there is some definite idea in the 
craftsman's mind of a subject, as for example the 
parade suit of Christian II (Johanneum, Dresden, 
E, 7), in which the artist, who is generally con- 
sidered to have been Heinrich Knopf, embossed 
scenes from the labours of Hercules on the horse- 
As a rule, however, the ornamentation is 


merely fantastic and meaningless, and consists for fig. 39. Brass of an un- 

1 r 1 1 1 • • known knight at Laughton, 

the most part 01 arabesques, masks, and amormi Lines, 1400. 
based upon classical models of the worst period and 
style. For sheer incoherence of design, and at the 
same time for technique which could hardly be 
surpassed, we have no better example in any of the 
applied arts than the parade suit made for King 
Sebastian of Portugal by Anton Peffenhauser of Augsburg in the second 
half of the sixteenth century (Real Armeria, Madrid, A, 290). Here 
we have tritons, nereids, dolphins and sea-horses, combats of classical 
warriors, elephants, allegorical figures of Justice, Strength, and Victory, 

1. Vervelles. 

2. Camail. 

3. " Vif de I'harnois," "defaut 

de la cuirasse." 

4. Baldrick. 

5. Jupon. 

6. Gadlings or gauntlets. 

7. Bascinet. 

8. Edge of hauberk. 


gods, goddesses, heroes, virtues, and symbolic figures spread broadcast 
among a wealth of arabesques and foliation which leaves the beholder 
breathless at the thought that this was simply produced for parade pur- 
poses, when but little of the detail could be seen and none of it could 
be adequately studied or admired. In fact the whole equipment may 
be described in a sentence originally used in far different circumstances : 
"C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre" (Plate XIV). 

Much of this embossed work was blackened or oxidized so that the 
full value of the relief-work could be appreciated. Gilding and gold 
inlay were also in high favour, but the latter art never reached the high 
pitch of excellence which we find in Oriental weapons, though the 
arrogant Cellini asserted that he could damascene swords as well as any 
Oriental craftsman, and better. That the art was not seriously attempted 
we gather from Cellini's own words, for he says that it " differed from 
any he had as yet practised."^ 

In all this ostentatious riot of ornament we in England preserved a 
dignified reticence. It is true that the City of London commissioned 
Petit of Blois to make the cumbersome gilded and engraved suit 
for Charles I, but we have in our national collections no specimens of 
elaborately embossed parade armour which were made for kings, princes, 
or nobles in England. 

The master-craftsman Jacobi Topf and his pupil William Pickering 
both produced suits of great richness and beauty, but they were always 
eminently practical, and their utility and convenience were never ham- 
pered or destroyed. Where there is embossing it is shallow, and as the 
relief is not sharp there is no edge which might catch the lance-point 
or sword. Much of the work of Topf was russeted and gilt, a method 
which produced a highly ornate and yet never a trivial or confused effect. 

The parade suit by Bartolomeo Campi, made for Charles V (Real 
Armeria, Madrid, A, 125), is so obviously a fantastic costume for 
masque or pageant that it can hardly be criticized as armour. It is 
based upon a classical model, for the cuirass is moulded to the torse 
after the manner of the armour of the late Roman Empire. As metal- 
work it will rank with the finest specimens extant, but as armour it 
completely fails to satisfy (see page 132 and Plate XIV). 

^ Life of Benvenuto Cellini, 1910 edition, I, 112. 




Although not in any way decorative, the " puffed and slashed " 
armour copied from the civilian dress of the sixteenth century is an 
example of the armourer making use of embossing apart from the actual 
requirements of the constructive side of his craft. Radiating lines of 
repousse work, simple, fine, and delicate, had been introduced into the 
later forms of Gothic armour, the pauldrons had been fluted like the 
cockle-shell, and these flutings had been made of practical use in 
Maximilian armour, giving increased rigidity without weight, a factor 
which is found in modern corrugated iron. 

The imitation of fabrics in steel is, however, unpardonable, and has 
not even the richness or minute technique of the parade suits mentioned 
above. It is true that the embossing gives greater rigidity to the metal, 
but we can have none of the admiration for these unnatural forms of 
armour that we have for those in which the goldsmith and armourer 
worked together. The style of dress which was imitated was in itself 
designed to create a false impression, for the slashings were intended to 
convey the idea that the wearer was a swashbuckler, fresh from the 
wars. We can only, therefore, regard it as an absurdity to represent 
fabrics, which were supposed to have been frayed and cut by weapons, 
in weapon-proof steel. That the fashion was popular we know from 
the number of suits extant, and even Conrad Seusenhofer himself did not 
disdain to produce them. The vogue did not endure for more than 
about twenty years, for as soon as the fashion in civilian dress changed 
the armour became simpler and the imitation ceased (Plate XXI). 


i4 N important part of the work of the armourer was the cleaning 
/—\ and keeping in repair his master's effects. This was especially 
^ ^ the case with mail, which from its nature is peculiarly susceptible 
to the action of rust. It is to this cause and to the incessant remaking of 
armour that we owe the loss of all authentic mail armour of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries. A good example of this may be cited in the 
hoard of plate armour and helmets, of which last nearly a hundred 
were collected, found in a cistern in the castle of Chalcis, in Euboea, in 
the year 1840.^ They had lain there since the year 1470, when the 
castle was taken by the Turks, and are in many instances in excellent 
preservation considering the condition in which they were found. The 
collection was brought to light and catalogued in a very unscientific 
manner by the historian Buchon, but there is no trace of mail of any 
kind except one link attached to a helmet. 

In the early part of the fifteenth century mail was used extensively 
both for complete defence and for protecting vital parts not covered by 
plate, of which details will be found on page 109 ; therefore it is most 
improbable that a large collection such as this should have been left 
with no vestiges of mail. It is obvious, therefore, that the delicate 
fabric was attacked and destroyed by rust long before the same agent 
could make any effect on the solid plate. The following extracts will 
give in chronological order the various entries which concern the 
cleaning and repairing of armour : — 

1250 (?). T6e Avowynge of King Arthur, stanza 39. 

Gay gownus of grene 

To hold thayre armur clene 

And were'^ hitte fro the wette. 

Here we find the reason, or at any rate one of the reasons, for wear- 
ing the surcoat. Some writers have suggested that it was worn to protect 

1 Charles ffoulkes, " Italian Armour at Chalcis," Archaologia, LXII. ^ Protect. 




the Crusader from the sun in his Oriental campaigns, but the quotation 
given definitely asserts that it was to keep ofF the rain. This is certainly 
a practical reason, for, as has been stated before in this chapter, the 
intricate fabric of mail was peculiarly susceptible to damp. 

1296. 23-24 Edw. I [Duchy of Lancaster Accounts). 

Itm. XX s. xj d. in duobus saccis de coreo pro armatura comitis. 

This refers to leather sacks used either for keeping the armour in 
or for cleaning it by shaking it with sand and vinegar. 

1344, Inventory of Dover Castle (see also page 25). 

i barrele pro armaturis rollandis. 

The barrel was here used in the same way. The mail was placed 
inside with sand and vinegar and rolled and shaken. The same method 
is still practised in some districts for cleaning barrels for cider or ale. 
Chains are placed in the barrel with sand to obtain the same result. On 
Plate XV a barrel is shown on the extreme left of the picture with a 
mail shirt hanging over the edge. 

1364. Inventory of the donjon of l^ostieza} 

i barellum ad forbiendum malliam. 

1369. Prologue, Canterbury Tales, Chaucer. 

Of fustyan he wered a gipoun 

Alle sysmoterud with his haburgeoun. 

This extract shows clearly the need for the barrel and sand. The 
mail had evidently rusted with rain and perspiration, and left stains 
and marks on the quilted undergarment. We find the term " rokked " 
used in the poem of Syr Gawayji^ which means cleaned by rolling. 

1372. Froissart uses the expression 

a rouler leurs cottes de fer. 

1 41 7. Inventory of Winchester College. 

i barelle pro loricis purgandis. 

1423. Koll of Executors of Henry Bowet, Archbishop of York, Oct. 20. 

j barrelle cum suis pertinentiis ad purgandos loricas et alia arma 
de mayle. 

1467. Howard Household Boo\ [Dom. Expenses in England, 416). 

9d. to an armerer at Pawles Cheyne for an barneys barelle. 

^ Arch. Journ., LX, I06, 


151 3. Karl of Northumberland' s Equipage (see also page 30). 
a paommyshe. 

Eight yards of white blaunkett for trussing of my Lord's harnes in. 

The pumice was for cleaning off the rust, and the blanket was 
used for packing the armour when in store or on a journey. 

151 5. Kings Book of 'Payments ^ Record Office^ under various payments to 

Oct. 1 1. Payment to Adrian Brand for hire of his mill house for 
cleaning the king's harness, 26s. 8d. the month. 

1 5 17. April. Wm. Gurre, armourer, making clean of certain harness, 
bockeling & ledering of 400 Almain rivets for the Armoury at 
Eltham ^24 7 8. 

The " bockeling & ledering " of course refers to the fitting of new 
leather straps and buckles. The Almain rivet was the half- suit of the 
foot-soldier and has been explained on page 52. 

1520. April. William Gurre for scouring 1000 pr. of Almain rivets at 
1 2d. a pair. 

1530. Hans Clerc armorer for furbishing and keeping clean the king's 
armour in the armoury in the Tilt yard at Greenwich which John 
Diconson late had at 6d. a day. 
Thos. Wollwarde for keeping & making the king's harnes att 
Windsor & York Place 30s. 5d. 

1567. S.P.D. Eliz., Addenda xiii., loi. 

Payments are made in this entry to paint black various corselets 
which had become " fowle and rustic " and had " taken salt 
water in the sea" at a charge of 5d. each. 

Froissart describes the champion Dimeth, at the coronation of 
Henry IV, as being " tout convert de mailles de vermeil, chevalier et 
cheval."^ This painting of armour was frequently indulged in both for 
the above practical reason and also for personal adornment. Tinning 
was also used for protecting armour from wet (vide page 33 sul? ann, 
1622). Armour in the Dresden Armoury and elsewhere is painted black. 
Hall in his Chronicles in the account of the funeral of Henry V states 
that men-at-arms in black armour rode in the procession. The armour 
in the seventeenth century was often blacked or russeted. Suits of this 
kind are to be seen in the Gun Wharf Museum at Portsmouth and else- 

Vol. IV, c. 114. This detail is not given either in Johnes' or Lord Berners' translation. 




where. Haselrigg's " lobsters" were so called, according to Clarendon/ 
because of their " bright shells." It is quite possible that their armour was 
blacked. In the Lansdowne MS. 73, William Poore suggested a remedy 
for " preserving armour from pewtrifying, kankering or rusting," but 
there are no details given of the method he employed ; it was prob- 
ably some kind of lacquer or varnish. Among the Archives of the 
Compte du tresor de Savoie (63 f. 157) is mentioned a payment to 
Jehan de Saisseau " por vernicier une cotte d'aciel," and in one of the 
Tower inventories (Harl. MS. 1419) of the year 1547 a buckler of 
steel painted" occurs.^ 

1567. S.P.D. E/iz., Add. xiii., 104. 

Sundry payments for cleaning and repairing armour at the Tower, 
Hampton Court, and Greenwich at lod. the day. 

1580, S.P.D. E/iz., cx/i, 42. 

A document written on the death of Sir George Howard ordering 
the cleaning and putting in order of the arms and armour at 
the Tower. 

1628. S.P.D. Car. /, xdii, 61. 

Capt. John Heydon to Wm. Boswell, Clerk to the Council, for the 
new russeting of a corslet, 5sh. 

1603. Inventory of the Armoury at Hengrave. 

Item one barrel to make clean the shirt of maile & gorgets. 

1 67 1. Patent applied for by Wolfen Miller (John Caspar Wolfen, and John 
Miller), for twenty-one years, " for a certain oyle to keep armour 
and armes from rust and kanker " for ^10 per annum. 

1647 [circ). Law?, and Ordinances of Warr, Bod. Lib., Goodwin Pamphlets, 
cxvii, 14.^ 

Of a Souldiers duty touching his Arms. 

II. Slovenly Armour. — None shall presume to appeare with their 
Armes unfixt or indecently kept upon pain of Arbitrary 

With regard to the keeping of armour in store two instances have 
been mentioned above under the dates 1296 and 15 13. In addition 
to these we find that in 1470 in the Chronique de Troyes.^ the French 
soldiers were forbidden to carry their arms and armour in " paniers," 
which, from the statement, was evidently a practice. 

^ Rebellion, VII, I04. ^ Archaologia, LI. ^ CromiveWs Army, Firth, 413. 

I I 


In the Wardrobe Account of Edward I, 128 1, published by the 
Society of Antiquaries, we find payments to Robinet, the King's tailor, 
for coffers, sacks, boxes, and cases to contain the different parts of the 

In the Wardrobe Expenses of Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby (Camden 
Soc), 1393, are found the following entries : — 

fol. 32. pro j cofre ... ad imponendum scuta domini. xvij scot. 

fol. 33. pro j house^ pro scuto domini ix scot, xij d. 

fol, 40. pro i breastplate domini purgando ibidem iij li, vij s. 

The " buckler of steel painted " mentioned above is scheduled as 
being in "a case of leather." In an engraving of Charles I by W. Hole, 
in the British Museum, a box is shown for holding the breast and 
back plates.^ 

^ Cover. ^ Arch. Journ., LX. 


important variety of defensive armour, which has not hitherto 
/ % received the notice which it deserves, is the padded and quilted 
^ armour of Unen, which was always popular with the foot-soldier 

on account of its cheapness, and was in the thirteenth century held in 
high esteem by the wealthier knight. In the case of crushing blows it 
would of course protect the body from breaking of the skin, but would 
not be of such use as the more rigid defence of plate. It was, however, 
very effectual against cutting blows, and had the advantage of being 
more easily put on and off, and, although hot, was 
less oppressive than metal in long marches. In 
miniatures of the fourteenth century we frequently 
find parts of the armour coloured in such a way 
as to suggest that it is either not metal or else 
metal covered with fabric. Where there was no 
metal and where the wearer depended entirely 
on the fabric for protection it was heavily quilted 
and padded, or else several thicknesses of the 
material were used (Fig. 40). Where metal was 
used the defence was the ordinary plate armour 
covered with fabric, or the metal was inserted in 
small plates as is the case in the brigandine. 

It is not the intention of the present section to 
deal with the various details of defensive armour 
except only as far as those details bear directly on 
the employment of fabrics, therefore the construc- 
tion of the brigandine, which is well known to all 
students of the subject of armour and weapons, 
will be found under the heading of the Craft of the Armourer 
on page 49. The same may be said of the horn and metal jacks 
which were a humbler form of the brigandine. The most concise 


Fig, 40. Pourpointed cuisses 
from the brass of Sir John 
de Argentine, Horseheath, 
Cambs, 1360. 


descriptions of such armour will be found in the Catalogue of Helmets 
and Mail by de Cosson and Burgess [Arch, yourn.^ XXXVII). Guiart in 
his Chronicles, written in the early part of the fourteenth century, speaks 
of "cotes faitices de coton a pointz entailliez." These were probably 
common doublets, quilted or laced like the jack. 

Few of these defences of fabric have survived, owing to the ravages 
of moth and damp. 

In the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford, are a pair of culottes or drawers 
lined with thin busks of steel, and also two sets of rose-pink silk doublets, 
breast, back, and fald padded with cotton, both presumably of the late 
sixteenth century ; they are noticed in Arms and Armour at Oxford^ 
by the present writer, but no definite history is known of either of the 
specimens. Doublets and " coats of fence " of this nature occur fre- 
quently in inventories and other documents, but the following extracts 
give certain definite details which bear directly on the subject. 

1 1 50-1 200 (?). Speculum Regale, Kongs-Skugg-Sio, edit. 1768, pp. 405-6 
(actual date unknown). 

For the rider the following accoutrements are necessary : coverings 
for the legs, made of well-blacked soft linen sewed, which should 
extend to the kneeband of his chaucons or breeches ; over these 
steel shin-pieces so high as to be fastened with a double band. The 
horseman to put on linen drawers, such as I have pointed out. 

(Of the horse) let his head, bridle, and neck, quite to the saddle, 
be rolled up in linen armour, that no one may fraudulently seize the 
bridle or the horse. 

There is a doubt as to the actual date of this manuscript. In the 
edition from which the above translation is taken it is described as of 
Icelandic origin about the year 1150, but it may be possibly as late as 
the beginning of the thirteenth century. The details of the dress worn 
under the armour may be compared on the one hand with the leggings 
shown on the Bayeux tapestry and on the other hand with those men- 
tioned in the Hastings MS. of the fifteenth century {Archceologia^ LVII), 
which gives the details of undergarments worn by the armed man at 
this date (page 107). The horse-armour is the "couverture" or trapper 
so frequently mentioned in inventories, which was often decorated with 
fine embroidery. Even altar-hangings were used for this purpose, as 
was the case in the sack of Rome in 1527. Padded horse-armour was 



used in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries for tournaments, minute 
regulations for which are found in the Traite d'un Tournoi by King 
Rene of Anjou, which will be referred to farther on in this chapter. 



Fig, 41, Padded Horse-armour for the Tourney (from King Rent's Traite (Tun Tournoi). 

1286. Comptus Ballivorum Franc ia} 

Expense pro cendatis, bourra ad gambesones, tapetis. 

This item is evidently for stuffing gambesons with cendaP and tow. 
Cendal is somewhat of a mystery as to its exact nature. Like all fabrics 
of past ages, we can but guess at its nature. It has been discussed under 
its name in Gay's Glossaire Archceologic. 

1296. Ordonnances des Metiers de Paris, p. 371. 

Que nus (armuriers) ne puisse fere cote ne gamboison de tele dont 
I'envers et I'endroit ne soit de tele noeve, et dedenz de coton et de 
plois de toiles, et einsi que est qu'il soient dedenz d'escroes. 

It, Si Ten fait cote ne gamboison dont I'endroit soit de cendal et 
I'envers soit de tele, si veulent il que ele soit noeve et se il i a ploit 
dedenz de tele ne de cendal, que le plus cort ploit soit de demie aune 
et de demi quartier de lone au meins devant, et autant derrieres, et 
les autres plois Ions ensuians. Et si il i a borre de soie qui le lit de 
la bourre soit de demi aune et demy quaritier au meins devant et 
autant derrieres et se il i a coton, que le coton vienge tout contreval 
jusques au piez. 

The first of these regulations concerns the materials used, and is 

^ Meyrick, Atitient Armour, I, 1 39. 

^ Cf. jupon of Black Prince at Canterbury, wadded with cotton. 


very similar to that of the Armourers' Company of London made in 1322, 
which is given in fiill in Appendix A. So much of the v^^ork of the 
padding and lining was hidden from sight that these regulations were 
most necessary to prevent the use of old rags and bad materials. The 
second entry seems to refer to the manner in which canvas and cendal 
were to be used and in what proportions. It should be noticed that at 
this period the surcoat, in England at any rate, was being gradually 
shortened. The regulation above quoted, however, suggests in the last 
sentence that in France it was still worn long. 

1 3 1 1 . From the same source as the above. 

Que nules d'ores en avant ne puisse faire cote gamboisee ou il n'ait 
3 livres de coton tout neit, se elles ne sont faites en sicines et au 
dessous soient faites entre mains que il y ait un pli de viel linge 
empres I'endroit de demi aune et demi quartier devant et autant 

Here the quantity of cotton is given and it is ordered to be new. 
It seems to have been allowed to put old linen, but this may possibly 
only mean seasoned linen, between the folds. 

1322. Chamber of Accounts^ Paris. 

Item Adae armentario 40 sol 4 d, pro factoris gambesonorum. 

The name "Ada" of the armentarius rather suggests that it might 
be a female who provided these gambesons. 

1383. Chronique de Bertrand du Guesclin [T. II, p. 95, 235.) 

Ainsois I'ala d'une lance tranchant 

L'escu li a rompu et le bon jaserant 

Mais I'auqueton fu fort qui fu de bougeran 

Et prendre auquetons de soie ou de bougerans. 

From the context of the first extract this haketon of buckram would 
appear to be a very serviceable defence, for the lance which had pene- 
trated the shield and the jaserant, or coat of plate, had not penetrated 
the undergarment of buckram. Like all other fabrics mentioned in 
medieval writings, we cannot definitely say of what material this buck- 
ram was composed, but from the second extract it seems to have been 
used equally with silk for the haketon. 


1450. Ordinance of Louis XI of France^ Chambres des Compts^ Parish 

. . . rabillement de jacques leur soit bien proufitable et avantageux 
pour faire la guerre, veu qui sont gens de pie, et que en ayant les bri- 
gandines il leur faut porter beaucoup de choses que en homme seul et 
a pied ne peut faire, Et premierement leur faut des dits jacques 
trente toilles, ou de vingt-cinq, a un cuir de cerf a tout le moins : 
et si sont de trente-un cuirs de cerf ils sont des bons. Les toiles 
usees et deliees moyennement sont les meilleures ; et doivent estre 
les jacques a quartre quartiers, et faut que manches soient fortes 
comme le corps, reserve le cuir. Et doit estre I'assiette pregne pres 
du collet, non pas sur I'os de I'epaule, qui soit large dessoulz 
I'assielle et plantureux dessoulz les bras, assez faulce et large sur les 
costez bas, le collet fort comme le demourant des jacques ; et que 
le collet ne soit bas trop hault derriere pour I'amour de salade. II 
faut que ledit jacque soit lasse devant et qu'il ait dessoulz une porte 
piece de la force dudit jacque. Ainsi sera seur ledii jacques et aise 
moienant qu'il ait un pourpoint sans manches ne collet, de deux 
toiles seulement, qui naura que quatre doys de large seur lespaulle ; 
auquel pourpoint il attachera ses chausses. Ainsi flottera dedens son 
jacques et sera a son aise. Car il ne vit oncques tuer de coups-de- 
main, ne de fleches dedens lesdits jacques ses hommes. 

These very minute regulations show that the "jack" was considered 
a most serviceable defence in the fifteenth century. At the same time 
it must have been a hot and uncomfortable garment, for twenty-nine or 
thirty thicknesses of linen with a deerskin on the top, or worse still 
thirty-one thicknesses of deerskin, would make a thick, unventilated 
defence which would be almost as insupportable as plate armour. The 
last item may be a clerical error, and indeed from the context it would 
appear to be thirty thicknesses of linen with one of deerskin, for the 
leather would be far more costly to work up than the linen. The 
extract has been given in full because it is so rare to come across 
practical details of construction of this nature. 

1470. Harl. MS. 4780. Inventory of Edward IV. 

Item a doublet of crimson velvet lined with Hollande cloth and 
interlined with busk. 

This may be only an ordinary doublet, or it may be some kind of 
"coat of fence" or "privy coat" lined with plates of steel, horn, or whale- 
bone. These " busks" of steel are found as late as the seventeenth century, 

^ See also Du Cange, Glossaire^ under "Jacque." 


for Gustavus Adolphus had a coat lined with them (Lifrustkammer, 
Stockholm) and Bradshaw's hat (AshmoleanMus., Oxford) is strengthened 
with steel strips. (Fig. 50.) 

1450 {arc). 'Traite d'un Tournoi, King Rene. 

. . . que ledit harnoys soit si large et si ample que on puisse vestir 
et mettre dessoulz ung porpoint ou courset ; et fault que le porpoint 
soit faultre de trys dois d'espez sur les espaules, et au long des bras 
jusques au col. 

En Brabant, Flandre et Haynault et en ce pays-la vers les Almaignes, 
ont acoustome d'eulx armer de la personne autrement au tournoy : 
car ils prennent ung demy porpoint de deux toilles . . , de quatre 
dois d'espez et remplis de couton. 

It would seem from the above that in France the garment worn 
under the tourney-armour was folded till it was three fingers thick on 
the shoulders. In the Low Countries, however, the pourpoint was of a 
diiferent fashion, for there they made the garment of two thicknesses 
and stuffed this with cotton- waste to the thickness of four fingers. The 
difference of thickness can be accounted for by the fact that folded linen 
would not compress so much as cotton-waste. It should be noted in 
the extract from the Ordinances of Louis XI that old material is advised 
as being more pliable and softer. At the same time we may be sure 
that it was carefully chosen. It is interesting to note that in 1322 the 
material is ordered to be new, but in 1450 old linen is recommended. 

Besides the making of undergarments or complete defences of linen 
overgarments, pourpoints, the Linen Armourers, as we find them called 
in the City of London Records, made linings for helmets. This was a 
most important detail in the equipment of a man, for the helm or helmet 
was worse than useless if it did not fit securely and if the head was not 
adequately padded to take off the shock of the blow. In the Sloane MS . 
6400, we find among the retinue of Henry V at Agincourt, "Nicholas 
Brampton, a stufFer of bacynets," and in the Oxford City Records under 
the date 1369 are the entries "Bacynet 13/4, stuffing for ditto 3/4." 
In the Hastings MS. (Archceologia.^ LVII), among the items given as the 
" Abilment for the Justus of the Pees," the first on the list is "a helme 
well stuffy d." This stuffing consisted of a thickly padded cap or lining 
tied to the head-piece with strings, which are clearly shown in the well- 






known engraving of Albert Diirer, of a man and a woman supporting 
a shield on which is a skull (Fig. 42, 2). There are some of these caps 
in the Waffensammlung, Vienna, which have been noticed in Vol. II 
of the Zeitschrift fur Historische JVaffenkunde, 

Fig. 42. 

1. Padded " harnisch-kappe," Vienna. 

2. Helm showing- attachment of cap and lining (after Diirer). 

The original lining of Sir Henry Lee's helmet (Plate XIII) is still 
in situ ; this, however, is riveted to the helmet and follows the shape of 
the head. In this respect it is different from the helmet-cap, which was 

Fig. 43. Sallad-cap 
(from a picture by 
Paolo Morando, 
i486- 1522, No. 
571, Uffizi, Flor- 

Fig. 44. Helmet-cap (from 
a sixteenth-century engra- 
ving of lacob Fugger). 

padded. A padded cap was worn independently of the lining of the 
helmet. These are shown on Figs. 43, 44. Similar caps are shown on 
the following works of Diirer : S. George on foot, S. George (Stephan 
Baumgartner) and Felix Hungersbourg. 



1586. Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (edit. 1807, II, xvi, 333). 

Our armour differeth not from that of other nations, and therefore 
consisteth of corselets, almaine riuets, shirts of maile, iackes quilted 
and couered ouer with leather, fustian, or canuas, ouer thicke plates 
of iron that are sowed in the same, & of which there is no towne 
or village that hath not hir conuenient furniture. 

These defences are of the same nature as the jack shown on Figs. 
24, 25. The brigandine was more elaborate and costly, for it was 
composed of small plates riveted to the foundation and covering of 
fabric and was therefore the work of a skilled artificer. The jack, on 
the other hand, was more easily put together and could be done by 
the wearer himself or by his wife. An interesting example of one of 
these village armouries mentioned above is to be found at Mendlesham 
Church, Suffolk, in the strong-room of which are portions of suits and 
half-suits dating from the late fifteenth to the middle of the seventeenth 
century. The church also preserves the records of the upkeep of the 
equipment, one of the last entries being in 16 13, a payment of is. 4d. 
to an armourer for " varnishinge the town head-piece and the corslitt 
and for setting on leathers and rivettes." 

1 59 1-5. Instructions, Observations and Orders Militarie, p. 185, Sir John Smith, 
Archers should weare either Ilet holed doublets that will resist 
the thrust of a sword or a dagger and covered with some trim and 
gallant kinde of coloured cloth to the liking of the Captain. . . . 
or else Iackes of maile quilted upon fustian. 

From the nature of their composition these " eyelet doublets " are 
rarely to be met with. They were made of twine or thread knitted all 
over in eyelets or button-holes. The appearance is much the same as 
modern "tatting" and macrame work. The best-known examples are 
in the Musee Porte de Hal, Brussels (II, 8 i), in the Cluny Museum, and 
in the Musee d'Artillerie, G, 210 (Fig. 45). 

1662. Decades of Epistles of War, Gervase Markham. 

The shot should have on his head a good and sufficient Spanish 
morian well lined in the head with a quilted cap of strong linen 
and bound with lined ear plates. 

1643. Souldiers Accidence, Gervase Markham. 

. . . the shot should have good comb caps well lined with quilted 


It will be obvious that the maker of linings and undergarments for 
the soldier had to be in constant touch with the armourer, for he had 
to make allowances for the style and cut of the armour. 

In the Wardrobe Accounts of Edward I quoted on page 79 there are 
entries of payments to Robinet, the King's tailor, for armour, banners, 

1 2 

Fig. 45. Details of Eyelet Coats. 
I. Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, 210. 2. Musee de Cluny, Paris. 

crests, helmets, and robes for the King, his son, and John of Lancaster. 
At the end of this chapter we shall notice this combining of the crafts 
of the armourer and tailor when dealing with the linen armourers. 

It was obviously important that the tailor should be in touch with the 
armourer and suit his material and cut to the equipment worn over them. 

1 59 1 -5. Instructions and Orders Militaries p. 185, Sir John Smith. ^ 

No armed man should weare any cut doublets, as well in respect 
that the wearing of armour doth quicklie fret them out and also by 
reason that the corners and edges of the lames and jointes of the 
armours doo take such holde uppon such cuttes as they do hinder 
the quicke and sudden arming of men. 

All parts of the suit were lined, for in spite of the padded under- 
garment there was bound to be a certain amount of chafing which, if 
the armour was unlined, would in time rub through the undergarment. 
In many portraits, especially those of the late sixteenth century, the 
linings are shown projecting below the edges of the various pieces of 
the suit. The edges of these linings are generally scalloped. 

^ Cousin of Edward VI, and knighted by Elizabeth in 1 576. His free criticism on military matters led to 
the suppression of his " Discourses on the form and effects of divers sorts of weapons," and he was committed 
to the Tower. 


In the picture by Breughel on the frontispiece a cuisse is shown, im- 
mediately beneath the basket of glass bottles in the centre of the picture, 
which clearly has a padded lining. In a list of payments for work done 
to Henry VIIFs armour we find " 9 yards of Cheshire cotton at yd. for 
lining the king's pasguard grandguard great mayn de fer." A similar 
charge is made in 1521 for two yards of yellow satin at 7/4 for lining 
two head-pieces, two pair of tasses, a pasguard, and two maynd fers. 
In 15 10 we find an entry of payment of 25 fl. 29 kr. to Walter Zeller 
of Innsbruck for lining armour with black velvet and silk.^ Frequently 
the padding is shown in miniatures, especially on the inside of shields 
and bucklers. The Highland targes are generally padded on the inside 
with straw to take some of the shock of a blow from the arm. The 
lining of such pieces as the taces and pauldrons was added to prevent 
the metal over which they worked fi'om being scratched, and also to 
lessen the metallic noise, which would be a serious factor in night 
attacks. Horse-armour, of course, needed heavy lining, but little of 
this remains. An excellent reconstruction of lined horse-armour is to 
be found on No. 620, Wallace Collection. 

The stuffing of these padded garments was not always of cotton. 
In the inventory of the goods of Sir John FalstofFe, 1459 [Archceologia^ 
XXI), we find " i. jack of black linen stuffed with mail and vi. jacks 
stuffed with horne, xxiiij. cappes stuffed with horne and mayle, vj. payre 
of glovys of mayle of shepys skynne." Under the heading " Gambeson," 
Du Cange ^ states that the gambeson was stuffed with wool soaked with 
vinegar, to resist iron, and he gives a reference to Pliny, Bk. VIII, c. 48, 
as bearing on this statement. This was probably done to keep out 
vermin, a serious factor when long marches with bad camping arrange- 
ments were undertaken. 

In all the defences which were mainly composed of fabrics, the 
object seems to have been to provide a substance which would resist cut 
or thrust and at the same time would offer a certain resiliency to the 
blow. A practical experiment upon thick leather and upon folded or 
padded cloth will prove this. Till recent years the Japanese made much 
of their armour of quilted fabrics, the chief drawback to which was its 
heat and want of ventilation. 

Jahrhuch des Kumthist, Sammlitngeii^ II, 995. - Johnes' edit., I, 13 1. 




This linen armour or linen and fabric covering for armour was a 
distinct craft in itself, and was practised by the linen armourers, who 
had the sole right to cover armour or to make such defences as have 
been enumerated above. That they were also tailors we know from 
their subsequent incorporation with the Merchant Tailors and also from 
the Wardrobe Accounts^ of Edward I, in which Robinet, the King's 
tailor, is mentioned as making robes and armours and banners. 

Besides the lining of armour and the provision of padded defences 
of fabric, there was a large field of employment in the covering of 
armour. As may be noticed in Appendix A, this covering of helmets 
seems to have been common in the first years of the fourteenth century. 
There were three reasons for covering the steel head-piece with fabric. 
Firstly, as Chaucer writes with regard to the mail hauberk (page 78), to 
keep it from wet, the enemy of all iron and steel work ; secondly, as 
Roger Ascham writes of the peacock-wing for arrows, for gayness " ; 
and thirdly, to prevent the glitter of metal attracting attention.^ In the 
Treatise of Johan Hill, written in 1434- (Appendix C, page 173), the 
covering of the armour, especially for the legs, is ordered to be of scarlet 
"because his adversarie shall not lightly espye his blode." Helmet- 
bags are mentioned in inventories, etc. 
In 1578 we find steel caps with 
covers " noticed in more than one will,^ 
and in the Lieutenancy Accounts for 
Lancashire, temp. Elizabeth, the archer's 
dress includes a " scull and Scottish cap 
to cover the same" (Fig. 46). Several 
helmets in the Waffensammlungen at 
Vienna still show the silk and satin 
coverings, and in Munich a triple- 
crowned burgonet has a black velvet Fig. 46. Sallad with cover, from a 

rT-\i I'll ^ T7 4.' sixteenth-century ensrravine-. 

cover. 1 he highly ornate Venetian ^ & 

sallads, covered with crimson velvet, over which is set a gilt open-work 

decoration of metal, are fairly common in collections (Plate XVI). 

^ Lib. Gardroba, 28 Ed. I, 1300. Soc. of Antiq. 

^ Vide modern War Office regulations of the present day as to scabbards of swords, Highland kilts, etc, 
^ Arch. Journ., LX, " Armour Notes." 


The surcoat and tabard hardly come within the province of the 
armourer, for they were quite distinct from the armour. They were, 
however, in fashion in various forms till the middle of the reign of 
Henry VIII, who landed in France, according to Hall, in 15 14 with a 
garment of white cloth of gold bearing a red cross." Padded and 
quilted defences appear to have been worn in the early seventeenth 
century, for the Hon. Roger North in his Examen writes that " there 
was great abundance of silk armour," which in many cases was said to 
be of pistol proof. Some of these backs, breasts, and taces, wadded 
with cotton and covered with salmon-coloured silk, are preserved in the 
Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford. 


As we have seen on page 9 1 , in the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies the tailor was often also a purveyor of armour. M. Buttin^ 
quotes several extracts from documents of the fourteenth century in which 
different names of craftsmen appear classed as "Brodeurs et Armuriers." 
It may not be out of place to notice here that the " milliner " of the 
present day was originally the Milaner or Milanese pedlar, who purveyed 
armour, weapons, and clothing of all sorts. 

The Linen Armourers, as they were called, were a gild distinct 
from the Armourers, for in 1272 they were instituted as " The Fraternity 
of Tailors and Linen Armourers of Linen Armour of S. John the 
Baptist in the City of London." Edward III was an honorary member 
of the gild, and Richard II also became a member when he confirmed 
their charter. Their first patent of arms was granted by Edward IV in 
the year 1466, and in this document the society is called " Gilda 
Armorarii."^ This naturally causes some confusion with the Armourers' 
Company, and in many documents it is uncertain which gild is referred 
to. The first master was Henry de Ryall, who was called the Pilgrim 
or Traveller. As has been stated above, their first charter was from 
Edward III. Richard II confirmed by " inspeximus " this charter. 
Henry IV also confirmed the charter, and Henry VI granted right of 
search, which allowed the gild to inspect shops and workshops and 

^ Le Guet de Geneve, Geneva, 1910. 

2 Hist of 12 L 'nery Co.^s of London^ Herbert, 1 836. 


confiscate any work which did not come up to their standard. It is 
doubtful whether the document given in Appendix A refers to this 
gild or to that of the Armourers, for it contains regulations which 
would affect both gilds. It gives details as to that " right of search " 
which was an important part of the duties of the gilds. 

In the reign of Edward IV the gild was incorporated, and under 
Henry VII it became the Merchant Tailors' Company, with the charter 
which is held by that company at the present day. This charter was 
confirmed by Henry VIII, Edward VI, Philip and Mary, Elizabeth, 
and James I. 


FROM the earliest times leather has been a favourite material for 
defensive armour. The shield of Ajax was fashioned of seven bulls' 
hides, and the soldiers of the King and of the Parliament in the 
Civil War favoured the buff coat. Between these periods leather was 
utilized in many ways, and when specially treated was a most serviceable 

protection which had the merit of being lighter and 
less costly than metal. The word "cuirass" itself is 
derived from the body-defence of leather (cuir). 

The Hon. Robert Curzon, writing in 1869, men- 
tions a cuirass of three thicknesses of leather found in 
a stone coffin of the thirteenth century {^Arch. yourn.^ 
XXII, p. 6). 

At a time when the weaving of fabrics was in a 
more or less primitive state, the skins of beasts were 
used either as the sole defence of the warrior or were 
reinforced with plates of metal applied over the most 
vital parts of the body (Figs. 47, 48). 

It is always a matter of some difficulty, especially 
in the earlier examples, to tell what materials are in- 
FiG. 47. Cuirass from tcndcd in illuminated miniatures, for we find what 

the sketch - book of | ^ •11 

wiliarsdeHonecourt, appcars to DC platc armour painted brown or parti- 
thirteenth century, ^olourcd, and this points to thc fact that armour of all 

kinds was frequently painted, even 

chain mail being coloured to suit the 

taste of the wearer, and also, a more 

important reason, to preserve it from 

wet and rust. In some representa- 
tions of scale armour, the drawing of y^^. ^^^7Ili:^tZ^i\^t, Ashmoiean Musem. 

the scales, as for example the figure Oxford. 

given on Plate I, 2, of my book on Armour and Weapons, suggests 





leather rather than metal, and certainly the much -debated -upon 
" banded mail " must have been a mixture of leather and metal. 

Towards the end of the twelfth century we find the material known 
as " cuir-bouilli" or " cuerbully " mentioned as being used for the armour 
of man and horse. The hide of the animal was cut thick, boiled in oil 
or in water, and, when soft, moulded to the required shape. When 
cold it became exceedingly hard and would withstand nearly as much 
battle- wear as metal. 

It had the advantage of being easily procured, easily worked, and 
also of being much lighter than the metal. For this reason it was used 
largely for jousts and tourneys, which up to the fifteenth century were 
more of the nature of mimic fights than was the case at a later date, when 
the onset was more earnest and the armour was made correspondingly 
heavy to withstand it. 

The best leather seems to have come from Spain and especially 
from Cordova. Among the Ordonnances des rots in the Bib. Nat. 
Fran9ais (T. II, 357) we find it distinctly stated that Cordova leather 
was far better than that of France or Flanders. This may have been 
due to the breed of horses or cattle found there, but it is more likely 
that the tanners of that town had made a speciality of treating the hides. 

On the sculptured effigies and monumental brasses 
of the fourteenth century we find the jambs and 
poleynes often richly decorated and moulded with more 
skill than the other parts of the armour,^ and these were 
probably of cuir-bouilli. 

The d'Aubernon, Setvans, and Gorleston brasses are 
good examples of this. Chaucer in his Rime of Sir 
Thopas mentions jambs of cuir-bouilli as being part of 
the ordinary equipment of the knight (see page 100). Brassard of 

Both King Rene and Antoine de la Salle prescribe leather and cord for 
cuir-bouilli as the material for the brassards used in the ^^neT^TrlM^^^Tn 
tourney (Fig. 49), and this fashion seems to have lasted Tour7ioi). 
from the last quarter of the thirteenth century, at which date we have 
cuir-bouilli armour mentioned in the roll of purchases for the tournament 

^ The Pembridge effigy in Hereford Cathedral has thigh-pieces which apparently represent leather 
laced on the inside. 



at Windsor Park, held by Edward I, down to the last quarter of the 
fifteenth century. Oliver de la Marche, writing at the end of the same 
century, describes the armour of Mahiot and Jacotin Plouvier fighting 
in a duel as being of cuir-bouilli sewn on the body, legs, and arms.^ In 
his tAdvis de gaige de battaile the same author mentions leather armour 
as being only fit for the man who is " point gentilhomme." 

As late as the year 1500 cuir-bouilli was much used for horse- 
armour on account of its lightness. Of this we have two specimens 
remaining to us in the full suit at Turin (G, 2) and the crupper at the 
Tower (VI, 89). The horse on Plate XVII is apparently armed with 
mail which is covered with trappers of leather. The original, which 
was an ivory chessman in the possession of Rev. Eagles, has disappeared. 
It was figured by Hewitt in Ancient Armour^ Vol. I, and was cast. 
The photograph given here is from the cast. Among the few specimens 
of leather armour for the man may be noted a morion in the Zeughaus, 
Berlin (60^), and a pair of seventeenth- century leather "lobster- tail" 
cuisses at Goodrich Court, Herefordshire. 

The reason for this dearth of examples of leather armour in col- 
lections at the present day is twofold. Much of the discarded armour 
of this nature would be used for various domestic purposes, such as jugs, 
horse-furniture, and such-like uses, and also much would be thrown away 
as useless, for leather unless carefully kept and oiled tends to crack and 
warp out of shape. 

The above-mentioned bards for horses appear frequently in paint- 
ings of the early sixteenth century. The picture of the battle of Pavia 
in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford,^ shows many of these brilliantly 
painted with armorial and fancy designs, and the absence of rivet-heads 
points to the fact that they are not of metal. 

The painting of bards seems to have been a distinct trade, for we 
find in the Statuto de' pittori Fiorentini rubr. 79 (Carteggio ined. 
d' artistic T. II, p. 40) regulations forbidding any but the registered 
bard-painters to undertake such work. 

That cuir-bouilli was not proof against firearms we learn fi"om 
Jean de Troyes (page 260), who writes: ''Si y eut un cheval tout barde 
de cuir bouilli qui fut tue d'un coup de coulverine." This refers to 

^ Memoirs, Vol. I, ch. 33. ^ Arms and Armour at Oxford, C. fFoulkes. 



the date 1465, when firearms were but primitive weapons. Dressed 
leather, however, in the form of the buff coat was used up to the 
middle of the seventeenth century, when the penetrating power of the 
bullet was greater. At the same time we should remember, as Marshal 
Saxe very truly points out in his advocacy of plate armour {Reveries^ 
p. 58), that many wounds at this time were caused by sword, lance, 
and spent bullet, all of which might have been avoided by the use of 
some thick material. The Marshal suggests sheet-iron sewn upon a 
buff coat, but the buff coat itself, | in. thick, would be a very ade- 
quate, though hot and heavy, protection without the addition of metal. 

The leather guns of Gustavus Adolphus will be found mentioned in 
the following pages, but these were only covered with leather, presum- 
ably to protect them from wet, and were not made entirely of this 
material. We have no record of cuir-bouilli being employed to make 
artillery, and of course the chief reason against its use would be the 
weakness of the seam or join. 

The only use of leather or cuir-bouilli for defensive armour found 
at the present day is found in the small bucklers of the hill tribes of 
India. These are often so skilfully treated that the 
leather is transparent and is almost impervious to 
a sword-cut, forming a very fair defence against the 
bullet from the primitive flintlocks in use among 

those tribes. F^^- 5°- . ^at of Bradshaw 

. Ill • r 1*1 11 regicide, of leather and 

The leather hat remiorced with steel plates steei. Ashmoiean mus., 
given at Fig. 5 o was worn by the regicide Bradshaw 
at the trial of Charles I.^ 

^ Arms and Armour at Oxford, C. fFoulkes, 




1 185. Chanson d" Antioc he. 

Moult fu riches qu'il li a chief mi 
Son poitrail lui laca qui fu de cuir bolis. 

The " poitrail " in this extract is the breastplate of the knight and 

not of the horse. 

1278. Koll of Purchases for the Tournament at Windsor Park. 

De Milon le Cuireur xxxviij quiret : p'c pec iij s. 
Itm. ij Crest & j Blazon & una galea cor & j ensis de Balon 
de Rob'o Brunnler xxxviij galee de cor p'c galee xiv. 

This tournament seems to have been more of a pageant than a 
serious contest like those of the fifteenth century. No armour of 
metal is mentioned among the purchases and the weapons are of whale- 
bone, a material which was used also for gauntlets, as we know from 
Froissart's^ description of the equipment of the troops of Philip von 
Artevelde at the battle of Rosebecque in 1382. Whalebone was also 
employed for " privy coats " or brigandines, in which it was inserted 
between the lining and the cover. Buckram is also mentioned as being 
used for body-armour, which material will be found alluded to in the 
section devoted to the Linen Armourers. 

1345. Les Lhres de Comptes des Freres Bonis, I. 174, Forestie. 
Item deu per un brasalot. . . de cuer negre. 

1 35 1. Ordonnances du roi Jean IV, 69. 

Ordenons que I'arbalestrier . . . sera arme de plates . . . et de 
harnois de bras de fer et de cuir. 

These brassards of cuir-bouilli seem to have been common in the 
fourteenth century ; their popularity being doubtless due to their light- 
ness and cheapness as compared with metal. M. Buttin in his interest- 
ing pamphlet Le Guet de Genlve^ gives several extracts from inventories 
and other documents which bear out this statement. 
1350. Pime of Sir Thopas, Chaucer. 

His jambeux were of curebully. 
^ Johnes' trans., I, 739. ^ Kundig, Geneva, I910. 







The skilfully modelled jambs and poleynes which appear on many 
brasses and effigies of the fourteenth century rather suggest that leather 
was used and not metal, as the rest of the armour does not show such 
skill of forging. These leg-pieces are nearly always shown as richly 
engraved, which also points to the suggestion that they were of cuir- 
bouilli, which would be an easier material to decorate with painting or 
modelling than metal. 

141 1. Inventorie de I'ecurie du roi^f. 108 vo. 

Une armure de cuir de Surie pour armer rhomme et le cheval, 

1450. Traite d'un Tournoi, Roi Rene. 

En Brebant, Flandres et Haynault at en ces pays la vers Almaignes 
. . . mettant unes bracieres grosses de 4 dois d'espez et remplies 
de cotton sur quoys ils arment les avant bras et les garde-bras de 
cuir bouilly. 

This entry may be compared with that of the Windsor Park 
Tournament quoted above. King Rene's book has the advantage of being 
illustrated with drawings of these and all the other details mentioned 
in his regulations for a tourney. The brassards shown in the drawing 
have cords fixed lengthways so as to provide an extra protection against 
the blow of the mace or wooden sword which Rene describes as the 
weapons to be used. Brassards of a similar kind are mentioned in 
Antoine de la Salle's Des anciens tournois et Faictz d'Armes (edit. 
B. Prost., p. 120). 

1 47 1. Inv. du Roi Rene a Angers, fo. 3 vo. 

Quatre targetes de cuir bouilly a la facon de Tunes. 

These targets, made after an Oriental model, would probably resemble 
those which are frequently seen in India and Persia at the present day, 
in which the leather is hard and often highly polished and decorated 
with painting and gilding. The Highland targe is fashioned differently, 
for the foundation is of wood and the skin or hide stretched over it. 

1480. U Artillerie des Dues de 'Bourogne, Gamier, appendix, p. 230. 
Onze gands et huit brasselets de cuir pour archiers. 

Here the " brasselets " are not arm-defences, but are simply the 
"bracer" or arm-guard which protected the wrist of the archer from the 
string of his own bow when released. 


1493. L'advis de gaige de battaille^ O. de la Marche. 

S'il n'est point gentilhomme il peut combattre selon I'ancienne 
coustume arme de cuir bouilly. 

This evidently refers to the regulations laid down by King Rene in 
1450, and suggests that by the end of the fifteenth century they had 
become obsolete and that full plate armour was the only equipment for 
the joust or tourney. 

1500. Inv. de Francois ler. de Luxembourg^ p. 6. 

Plusiers bardes de chevaux de cuyr de cartes ou cartons. 

The last-named materials were obviously only employed for parade 
or masque. They would be early forms of papier-mache, but were 
probably more like the modern cardboard than the hard papier-mache 
now in use. 

1559, Notes sur Dioscoride, II, chap. 21, Matthee. 

Le cheval marin une beste du Nil [the hippopotamus] de la peau 
Ton en fait des ecus, animes et rondelles ; aussi n'y ha il armes 
ny poinctures quelles qu'elles soyent qui la puissent transpercer, 
si premierement elle n'est baignee. 

This entry shows clearly that even the hide of the hippopotamus 
was not held to be weapon-proof till it had been soaked (in water or 
oil). One of these leather bards exists in the Armeria Reale, Turin, 
B, 2 . It is catalogued as being of hippopotamus hide. A crupper of cuir- 
bouilli (VI, 89) is the only specimen of leather armour in the Tower. 

1630 (circ). Hist, of London, t. 26, Pennant (1790). 

Robert Scot . . . was the inventor of leather artillery which he 
introduced into the army of Gustvus Adolphus. 

1644. Military Memoirs of the Great Civil War, p. ^2, Gwynne. 

At Crobredery Bridge (Cropredy) we overtook Waller's army which 
we engaged and beat, took Wemes General of their army prisoner 
and withal took his leather guns which provedserviceable to the King. 

These leather guns were formed of a cylinder of copper round 
which was twisted thick hempen cord and the whole enveloped in a 
leather jacket. An example which is traditionally stated to be one of 
Scot's guns used by Gustavus Adolphus, is exhibited in the Rotunda 
Museum, Woolwich (II, 173). The dolphins on this specimen are 
fashioned to the letter " G " placed horizontally. There are two 
similar guns in the Musee d'Artillerie. 



1678. Traite des Armes^p. 55, Gaya. 

Quoy que les Bufles ne soient proprement que les habillemens de 
Cavaliers, nous pouvons neanmoins les mettre au nombre de leurs 
armes deffensives, plus qu'ils peuvent aisement resister a I'Epee 
lors qu'ils sont d'une peau bien choissie. 

Les Bufles . , . sont faits en forme de Juste-au-corps a quatre 
basques qui descend jusqu'aux genoux. 

II n'y a pas un Cavalier dans les trouppes de France qui n'ait un 
habillement de Bufle. 

The buff coat of leather or " cuir de boeuf " was a part of the 
miUtary equipment as early as 1585 and was in common use during the 
Civil War. It was worn by the Life Guards at the Coronation of James II 
in 1685 and by a detachment of the Artillery Company at the entry of 
George I in 17 14. It ceased to be worn as part of the uniform in the 
following reign. ^ 

1 591—5. Instructions^ Observations and Orders Militarie, p. 185, Sir John Smith. 

. . . halbadiers . . . armed with burganets and with short skirted 
Jerkins of buffe with a double buffe on their breasts and the sleeves 
of their doublets with stripes of maile or serecloth aforesaide. 

Here we find a return to the primitive defence of the eleventh 
century, due to the increased weight of armour which was necessary 
against the improved firearms which were by this time a serious factor 
in war. The serecloth recommended was probably a stout waxed or 
oiled canvas. In recommending sleeves of mail, which are shown on 
Plate XVIII, Sir John Smith considers that they are more convenient for 
the handling of the halberdier's weapon than the more rigid brassards 
worn by the cavalry. These strips of chain are shown on one of the 
figures painted by Memling for the " Chasse of S. Ursula " at Bruges, 
i486, which is given on Fig. 24 of this work. They have been re- 
introduced as shoulder-straps for heavy cavalry at the present day. 

^ Cannon, Historical Records of the Life Guards, p. 74- 


THOUGH perhaps the wearing and putting on of armour was 
not directly part of the craft of the armourer, it was certainly 
a part of his duties to be present during the process and be 
ready to carry out any small alterations which might be needed on 
the spot. 

As has been noticed in a preceding chapter, as late as 1625 we 
find this insisted upon by de Pluvinel (see page 115). Shakespeare 
describes the armourers as busy "accomplishing the knights" before 
Agincourt (page 33), and the fact that the travelling knight took his 
armourer with him shows that he was indispensable during the opera- 
tion of dressing for war or joust. 

Armour of the best kind was made to measure, and for ordinary 
purposes a mould or "dobble" was kept on which to make the ordinary 
harness for the man-at-arms (page 28). The following extracts show 
the methods employed for sending measurements, which were often 
obtained by submitting the clothes of the patron to the armourer : — 

1406. In the will of Sir Ralph Bulmer, " armatura mea corpori talliata."^ 

1470. Archives de Bruxelles^ 

Baltazar du Cornet, armourer at Bruges, delivers for the Duke 
of Burgundy "2 cuiraches complettes faites a la mesure de Mon- 

Lazarus de St. Augustin delivers "un harnais complet fait naguere 
a la mesure de Monseigneur et pour son corps." 

1512. A jacket and hose of Prince Charles (afterwards Charles V) are sent 
to Conrad Seusenhofer,^ 

1520. Brit. Mus., Galig. £), VIII, 181. 

16 March. Francis I asks for an "arming doublet " of Henry VIII 
that he may have made a new kind of cuirass which he will send 
him as a present. 

^ Arch. Jourti,, LX. ^ _/lrchives de Bruxelles, Cat. Mus. Porte de Hal, 1 885. 

^ Jahrbuch des Kunsthist. Sammlutigeti, II, 1 03 2. 






1564. S.P.D. Elizabeth^ Jan. 30. 

Warrant to the Master of the Armoury. To cause to be made one 
armour complete fit for the body of our well beloved servant 
Christopher Hatton, one of our Gentlemen Pensioners, he paying 
according to the just value thereof. 

1667. Verney Memoirs, IF, 301. Rich. Hals to Edmond Verney. 

The armour fits w^ell enough only the man did cut away to 
much just under the arme pit both of back and breast, but for the 
head piece it is something heavy, yet I think it well enough if it 
did not come downe so low upon my forhead as to cover all my 
eyes and offend my nose when I put my head backwards to look 

In the preceding chapter some notice was taken of the part which 
the Hnen armourer played in the equipment of the armed man, and 
it was to him that the clothing which was worn under the armour was 
entrusted. Under the heading of the "Cleaning of Armour" mention 
has been made of Chaucer's knight 
whose "gipoun" was " besmoturyd 

with his haub( 

)ergeon, but this gar- 
ment was an outer garment or surcoat. 
In the age of plate armour a complete 

dress was worn for legs, arms, body, Fig. 51. stripping the dead (Bayeux Tapestry). 

and head to prevent the chafing of the armour, which in spite of its 
own lining of silk, velvet, cloth, leather, or other fabric would cause 

grave inconvenience, if not danger to 
the wearer. Besides this reason there 
was also a question of warmth, which 
was of importance, for in long marches 
and expeditions there was no warmth 
in a suit of plate, in fact there was an 
added cold which had to be counter- 
acted by warm garments worn under- 

In the eleventh and twelfth cen- 
turies we have not much in the way of documentary evidence which will 
helplus as to the clothes worn under the armour. The Bayeux Tapestry 
shows us the wounded and dead being stripped of their hauberks, under 

Fig. 52. Knight arming (from Livre des Nobles 
FemmeSy Bib. Nat., Paris, fourteenth century). 


which nothing was apparently worn (Fig. 51). It should be remembered, 
however, that these hauberks were probably of quilted fabric, which 
therefore did not gall the body of the wearer. The drawing from a 
fourteenth-century manuscript on Fig. 5 2 gives some hint at the arming- 
doublet, which will be noted farther on in this chapter, 
and shows also the laces or points that held up the 
hose. Towards the end of the fourteenth century, 
however, we find on the incised brasses, which are such 
valuable records of the military equipment of the period, 
very distinct garments represented. On the brass to 
Sir John de Creke at Westley Waterless, Cambs, 1325, 
we see the "cyclas" or outer surcoat, the "upper pour- 
point," of fabric, studded with metal, " the hauberk," 
and under all the "haketon" or "gambeson" (Fig. 53). 
According to William de Guilleville, in the Pelerinage 
de r^me^writttn in the fourteenth century, the "pour- 
point " was so called because of its quiltings : — 

De pontures de gambison 
Pourquoi pourpoint I'appelle-t-on. 

The gambeson continued in use up to the seventeenth 
century under the name of "arming-doublet," with but 
little change except in shape and form, as the style of 
armour required. Of the undergarments of the early 
fifteenth century we have little or nothing to guide us, 
and we are often at a loss to know even what armour 
was worn under the tight-fitting, small-waisted jupon 
or surcoat which distinguishes the end of the fourteenth 
and the beginning of the fifteenth century. We have, 
however, a valuable record under this head in the 
monument at Ash, which shows "splinted armour" of 
lames worn instead of a cuirass. 

The illustration on Plate IV is from a wood- 
church of S. William, Strasburg. It represents the 

8 — 

Fig. 53. Brass of Sir 
John de Creke, 
Westley Waterless, 
Cambs, 1325, 

1. Ba^cinet. 

2. Vervelles and camail. 

3. Cyclas or surcoat. 

4. Upper pourpoint. 

5. Hauberk. 

6. Gambeson or haketon. 

7. Poleynes. 

8. Beiribergs or jambs. 

carving in the 

travelling armourer riveting what appear to be bands of iron on arms 
and legs. Whether these are some contrivance used in arming in the 
fifteenth century, or whether they are some instrument of torture used 


upon the saint, Duke William of Acquitaine, it is impossible to discover, 
as no other instances of the kind can be found. 

For full details of the equipment of the latter half of the fifteenth 
century we cannot do better than refer to the Hastings MS. of the 
fifteenth century, which has been discussed by the late Albert Way,^ and 
more fully by Viscount Dillon.^ Under the heading of ''The Abilment 
for the Justes of Pees " we find much that is of value in this respect. On 
page \2 2b of the manuscript we find the following minute directions 
for dressing a man for the joust, which should be compared with those 
given in Appendix C, page 173. 

How a man schall be armyd at his ese when he schal fighte 
on foote : 

He schal have noo schirte up on him but a dowbelet of ffustean 
lyned with satene cutte full of hoolis. the dowbelet must be 
strongeli boude there the pointis muste be sette aboute the greet 
[bend] of the arm. and the b ste \sic\ before and behynde and the 
gussetis of mayle muste be sowid un to the dowbelet in the bought 
of the arme. and undir the arme the armynge poyntis muste ba 
made of fyne twyne suche as men make stryngys for crossebowes 
and they muste be trussid small and poyntid as poyntis. Also they 
muste be wexid with cordeweneris coode. and than they will 
neyther recche nor breke Also a payr hosyn of stamyn sengill 
and a payre of shorte bulwerkis of thynne blanket to put aboute 
his kneys for chawfynge of his lighernes Also a payre of shone 
of thikke Cordwene and they muste be frette with smal whipcorde 
thre knottis up on a corde and thre cordis muste be faste swoid 
on to the hele of the shoo and fyne cordis in the mydill of the 
soole of the same shoo and that ther be betwene the frettis of the 
hele and the frettis of the mydill of the shoo the space of three 

To arme a man 

fiirste ye muste sette on Sabatones and tye them up on the shoo 
with smale poyntes that wol breke And then griffus [greaves] & 
then quisses & he the breeche of mayle And the tonletis And 

^ Arch. Journ., IV, ^ Archaologia, LVII. 


the brest And he vambras And he rerebras And then glovys 
And then hange his daggere upon his right side And then his 
shorte swered upon the lyfte side in a rounde rynge all nakid to 
pull it oute lightlie. And then putte his cote upon his back And 
then his basinet pynid up on two greet staplis before the breste 
with a dowbill bokill behynde up on the bak for to make the 
bassinet sitte juste. And then his long swerde in his hande. And 
then his pensil in his hande peyntid of seynt George or of oure 
lady to blesse him with as he goeth towards the felde and in the 

From the above extract it will be seen that the undergarments con- 
sisted of a thick doublet lined with silk, but with no shirt underneath ; 
the reason for this being one that we at the present day can well appre- 
ciate, for when the body is hot from exertion and exercise a shirt is apt 

Fig. 54. Arming-points (from the portrait 
of a Navigator, Ashmolean Mus., 

Fig. 55. Attachment of 
brassard by points (from 
the portrait of the Due de 
Nevers, Hampton Court). 

to ruck up," and it would be impossible to readjust it when fully 
armed. In the Pas ton Letters we have the following request from 
Edward IV : — 

Item I praye you to send me a newe vestmente off whyght damaske 
ffor a Dekyn, whyche is among myn other geer, I will make an armyng 
Doublet off it. 







^6. Moton at- 
tached by points 
(from Had. MS. 

The gussets and, in the sixteenth century, the sleeves 
of mail protected the bend of the arm and armpit, and 
sometimes the bend of the knee, which were not 
adequately covered with plate. The two portraits of 
unknown noblemen by Moroni (National Gallery) show 
these details of the equipment very clearly (Plate XVIII). 
The arming-points or " tresses " were used in civilian as 
well as in military attire and joined the hose to the 
doublet, laced sleeves, and held coats together, much as 
laces are used in ladies' dresses at the present day (Figs. 
54—57). They are also shown tying up the hose on 
Fig. 52 and the brayette on Plate VIII. 

Lord Dillon explains the hose of " stamyn sengill " as 
being a worsted cloth made in Norfolk. The " bulwerkis" 
were pads of blanketing fastened over the hose at the knees 
to prevent the chafing of the knee-cop, and the shoes were 
of Cordova leather fastened with laces. A complete under- 
dress of this kind, with quilted doublet and hose with 
gussets of mail at the knees, is to be found in the Museum 
at Munich. The arming of a man began at the feet, and 
as far as was possible each piece put on overlapped that 
beneath it, to ensure that glancing surface upon the utility 
of which such stress has been laid in the first chapter of this book. 

The arming of a man, therefore, was carried out in the following 
order and his equipment put on in the following order : Sollerets or 
sabatons, jambs, knee-cops, cuisses, skirt of mail, gorget, breast and 
back plates, brassards with elbow-cops, pauldrons, gauntlets, sword- 
belt, and helmet (Fig. 58). 

The " tonlet " would appear to be a bell-shaped skirt of plate or 
deep taces such as is shown on Plate XXI, and is another example of 
the use of the glancing surface," especially in combats with axe and 
sword at barriers, for in these jousts the legs were often unarmed and were 
not attacked. The rerebrace, elbow-cop, and vambrace are usually 
joined by rivets in which there is a certain amount of play. Where 
this was not the case, each piece was separately strapped to the arm, as 
may be seen in the brasses of Sir John de Creke, 1325 (Fig. 53), and 

Fig. 57. Arming- 
points on the 
foot (from the 
picture of S. 
Demetrius, by 
Ortolano, Nat. 


Fig. 58. Sixteenth-century Suit of Plate. 






rondel or 




f baviere 
\ mentonniere 

f porte-plume 
\ porte-panache 



piton a ressort 





> rondelle 






















rotellino da 









restra de mue 












English French 





















guarda o rodillera 


breast plastron 

back dossiere 

elbow-cop or I . v 
J > coudiere 

coude ) 

vambrace avant-bras 

gauntlet gantelet 

taces bracconiere 

loin-guard garde-reins 

fald or skirt 

I brayette 

of mail 

tasset tassette 

upper cuishe cuissard 

cuishe „ 

knee-cop genouill^re 

iamb or 1 • 1 - v a 

} lambiere, grave 
greave J ° 

solleret or 1 , 

, , > soleret 

sabbaton J 

fan-plate ailerons 

of Sir Hugh Hastings, 1347. When the three pieces, called collec- 
tively the Brassard, were joined together, they were kept in place on 
the arm by arming-points fastened to the " haustement " or doublet 
just below the shoulder. The operation of tying on the brassard is 
shown on the portrait now labelled the "Due de Nevers" at Hampton 
Court (Fig. 55). In the list of the equipment taken by the Earl of 
Northumberland to France in 1513^ we find mention of arming- 
pateletts of white satin quilted, for wearing under the armour, trussing- 
bolsters to wear round the waist to keep the weight of the cuirass from 
the shoulders, arming-hose, arming-doublets, arming- shoes, garters to 
wear under the armour, and coffers in which to keep the armour. 

There is no mention of the pauldron in the Hastings MS., but 
when this was worn it was strapped to the neck-opening of the cuirass 
or hung from spring-pins which project from the shoulder-plate of the 

The staples mentioned in the Hastings MS. are often very elaborate 
contrivances, especially in jousting-armour, and the foremost fastening 
was called the " charnel." Fig. 59 shows the methods of attaching 
jousting-helms to the cuirass. No. i shows the adjustable plate which 
fixes the front of the helm of the suit of Philip II (Madrid, A, 16). 
A similar contrivance was used with the ''Brocas" helm (Fig. 12). 
No. 2 is the front of a helm (Mus. d'Art, Paris, G, 163) in which 

^ Antiquarian Repertory, IV, 



Fig. 59. Attachment of jousting-helms to the cuirass. 

the lower plate is bolted to the breast and can be released from 
the helm by withdrawing the hinge-pin. No. 3 shows the back 
of the same helm. Fig. 60 is a larger sketch of the fixing- 
hook of this helm. A is the back-plate of the helm, E the 
pillar hinged at D and hooked into a lug on the back of the 
cuirass. B is a solid block of steel of circular section pierced 
with holes and connected to a screw in E. B can be turned 
by inserting a pin in the holes and the screw tightened or 
loosened. Minute details as to the fastenings of the helm will 
be found in Appendix D, page 178. 

It can therefore be easily imagined that the work of arming 
a man was a serious business, and it was necessary that the 
armourer or an expert assistant should be present in case some 
portion of the suit or its fastenings gave way. 

Details of the different parts that went to make up the complete 
suit, with the thickness of each plate, the laces or points, and various 
fastenings and methods of attachment, will be found in the fifteenth- 
century Treatise on Military Costume of which a portion is given in 
Appendix D. 

Fig. 60. 
Side view 
of attach- 
ment on 
Fig:- 59.3- 




The Marquis de Belleval published an interesting monograph on 
this manuscript in 1866, which is now scarce and difficult to obtain. 

In the illustration on Plate XVII the squires are shown arming their 
masters from horseback, which appears to involve some gymnastic 

That such agility of the armed man was by no means an artistic 
licence we may gather from the fact that Froissart^ mentions Sir John 
Assueton leaping fully armed behind his page on to his war-horse. 
Again, Shakespeare makes Henry V (Act V, Sc. 2) say, " If I could win 
a lady at leapfrog or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my 
back," and Oliver de la Marche states that Galliot de Balthasin in 1446 
leaped fully armed out of the saddle as though he 
had on a pourpoint only. That this was no mere 
figure of speech we may judge from a little book 
entitled The Vaulting Master^ written by W. Stokes, 
an Oxford riding-master, in 1641. 

In the preface he writes : "In war the nimble 
avoydance of a man's horse if wounded or killed 
under him, and in like manner the ready ascent into 
his enemies saddle if it be his hap to unhorse him, 
and much more which the experienced souldier 
shall find." 

There is an engraving on Plate I of the work 

showing a cuirassier in half-armour about to vault 

into the saddle without stirrups. Stokes occasionally breaks out into 

verse as follows : — 

Here's that will make a stubborne armour weare 
Gentle as Persian silks and light as air, 

which refers to the ease of mounting which his prescribed exercises 

On the subject of the wearing of armour we have much valuable 
information from the works of the great military reformer of the six- 
teenth century. Sir John Smith, who, as has been stated previously, 
suffered imprisonment for his opinions. In his Instructions a?td Obser- 
vations and Orders Militaries 1 591—5, he writes : — 

Fig. 61. Armourer in the 
lists (Heralds' Coll., MS. 
M, 6, f. 56). 

^ Johnes' edition, I, 449. 



Page 183. " No man can be conveniently armed unlesse he 
be first fitly apparelled." He states that at Tilbury he saw " but 
very few of that army that had any convenience of apparel and 
chieflie of doublets to arme upon, whereof it came to passe that 
the most of them did weare their armors verie uncomelie and un- 
easilie. . . . But because the collars of their armours doe beare 
the chief waight of all the rest of the armour, I would wish that 
the souldiers . . . should have under Collars of Fustian conveni- 
entlie bombasted to defende the heveth weight, and poise of their 
armours from the paining or hurting of their shouldiers." 

On page 193 he writes : " Also I would have them to have 
pouldrons of a good compasse and size, and vambraces both 
joined together, and not asunder, because that the poise of the 
pouldrons and vambraces, hanging upon the pinnes and springes 
of their collars, they doe not weigh so much, nor are not so 
wearisome as when they are separated ; and that they weare their 
vambraces tied with points to their doublets under their pouldrons." 
Here the author, who was pre-eminently a practical soldier, saw the 
discomfort and inconvenience caused by the drag of the arming- 
point on the sleeve and wisely considered that the whole arm- 
defence should hang from a pin or strap from the gorget or cuirass, 
so that the weight might be on the shoulders and not on the 

The armour for the joust in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
was far too heavy to allow of such vagaries. Pluvinel in his Maneige 
Royale^ 1625, gives an imaginary conversation between himself and 
the King which bears upon the subject : — 

The King. 

It seems to me that such a man would have difficulty in 
getting on his horse and being on to help himself. 


It would be very difficult, but with this armament the case has 
been provided for. In this way, at triumphs and tourneys where 


lances are broken, there must be at the two ends of the lists a 
small scaffold the height of the stirrup, on which two or three 
persons can stand ; that is to say, the rider, an armourer to arm 
him, and one other to help him, as it is necessary in these danger- 
ous encounters that an armourer should always be at hand and 
that all should be ready. Then the rider being armed, and the 
horse brought near to the stand, he easily mounts him ... for 
this reason the horses must be steady. 

A little pen-drawing of the sixteenth century in a manuscript dealing 
with jousts (Heralds' Coll., M, 6, 56) shows the armourer on one of 
these scaffolds at the end of the lists (Fig. 61). 

In the chapter on the Proving of Armour the question of disuse on 
account of weight was considered. From the sixteenth century and 
even earlier we have records of the discarding of armour because it 
hampered the wearer or for some equally cogent reason. The follow- 
ing extracts bear upon the subject : — 

1383. Chroniques de Dugesclin, line 5973 (edit. 1839). 

Leurs cuissieres osterent tres tous communement 
Par coi aler peussent trop plus legierement. 

This refers to the action of Sir Hugh Calverly at the battle of Mont 
Auray, who ordered his men to take off their cuisses in order to move 
more easily. 

1590. Discourses^ p. 4, Sir John Smith. 

But that which is more strange, these our such new fantasied 
men of warre doe despise and scorne our auncient arming of our- 
selves both on horseback and on foote saying that wee armed our- 
selves in times past with too much armour, or peces of yron as they 
terme it. And therefore their footmen piquers they doo allow for 
verie well armed when they weare their burganets, their collars, 
their cuirasses, and their backs, without either pouldrons, vambraces, 
gauntlets or tasses. 

Sir John Smith goes on to say that it was the discarding of his 
cuisses that cost Sir Philip Sidney his life, for he received a wound 
from a spent bullet which his armour might have deflected. 


1 619. The Art of Warre^ Edward Davies. 

[the arquebusiers were loaded] with a heavie shirt of male and a 
burganet, by the time they have marched in the heat of summer 
or deepe of winter ten or twelve English miles they are more apt 
to rest than readie to fight. 

1625. Souldiers* Accidence^ Markham. 

As for the pouldron or the vant-brace they must be spared because 
they are but cumbersome. 

Against these extracts we must place the opinions of military leaders 
who deplored the disuse of armour : — 

1632. Milifarie Instructions for the Cavallrie^ Cruso. 

Captain Bingham in his Low Countrie exercise appointeth him 
[the harquebusier] a cuirass pistoU proofe which condemneth the late 
practice of our trained Harquebusiers to be erroneous which have 
wholly left off their arms and think themselves safe enough in a 
calf's skin coat. 

1756. Reveries^ Marshal Maurice of Saxe, p. 56. 

Je ne sais pourquoi on a quitte les Armures, car rien n'est si beau 
ni si avantageux. L'on dira peut-etre que c'est I'usage de la poudre 
qui* les a abolis ; mais point du tout car du tems de Henri IV. et 
depuis jusq'en I'annee 1667 on en a porter, et il y avoit deja bien 
longtems que la poudre etoit en usage : mais vous verrez que c'est 
la chere commodite qui les a fait quitter. 

Marshal Saxe further suggests that the large proportion of wounds 
are received from sword, lance, or spent bullet, and that all these might 
be guarded against by wearing armour or a bufF coat of his own inven- 
tion which when reinforced with steel plates weighed 30 lb. 


We have but few records in contemporary documents of the actual 
weight of the different parts of the suit of armour, but we can obtain 
these from examples of the sixteenth century onwards from specimens 
in the different museums and collections. 



That armour had become burdensome in the extreme owing to the 
necessity of subjecting it to pistol and musket proof we know from 
various writers on the subject. 

La None in his Discours Politiques et Militaires^ translated by 
" E. A." 1587, writes on page 185 : For where they had some reason 
in respect of the violence of harquebuzes and dagges [muskets and 
pistols] to make their armor thicker and of better proofe than before, 
they have now so farre exceeded, that most of the have laden themselves 
with stithies [anvils] in view of clothing their bodies with armour . . . 
neither was their armour so heavie but that they might wel bear it 24 
hours, where those that are now worne are so waightie that the peiz 
[weight] of them will benumme a Gentleman's shoulders of 35 yeres 
of age." 

On page 196 of Sir John Smith's Instructions^ Observatmts^ and 
Orders Militaries the author strongly objects to the discarding of the 
arm and leg defences which was advised by other authorities. He insists 
that these limbs are as important as the "breste, belly, and backe," and 
should be adequately protected. His opinions are also held by Marshal 
Maurice of Saxe in his Reveries^ quoted above. 

Edward Ludlow, at the battle of Edgehill, 1642,^ was dismounted 
in getting through a hedge, and says : I could not without great diffi- 
culty recover on horse-back again being loaded with cuirassiers arms 
as the rest of the guard were also." 

It would be superfluous to mention the different occasions on which 
unhorsed knights were captured or killed through their inability to 
remount in battle. Froissart in describing the battle of Poitiers says 
that when once dismounted men could not get up again, and other 
historians bear equal witness of the disadvantage of armour when un- 
mounted ; and the Sieur de Gaya, who has been so often referred to in 
these pages, writing in 1678, says in his Traite des Armes^ P^g^ 60: 
" lis n'avoient trop de tort a mon avis d'equiper ainsi leurs chevaux parce 
qu'un Cavalier arme n'est plus propre a rien quand il est demonte." 

Although this may be taken as a reason put forward by the writer 
for more armour for man and horse, it shows at the same time that the 
fully armed man was considered to be comparatively useless when un- 

^ Ludlow's Memoirs, Firth, I, 44. 


horsed, as the Spanish proverb ran : " Muerto el Cavallo, perdido el 
hombre d'armas." 

It may be somewhat of a surprise to learn that the present-day 
equipment is but little lighter than that of the fifteenth century. The 
Under Secretary for War, speaking in the House of Commons on 
November 28th, 191 1, stated that the infantry soldier marched on an 
average thirty miles a day during the manoeuvres, carrying 59 lb. 
II oz. of equipment and kit. Against this vi^e may place the w^eight 
of some suits of foot-soldiers' armour of the sixteenth century, which 
weigh with the helmet at the outside 25 lb. ; leaving therefore a wide 
margin for underclothes and weapons. And this comparison of weight 
carried is even more interesting when considering the cavalry equip- 
ment, as will be seen from the annexed table on the opposite page. 

Of course all these figures represent " dead weight " ; and here we 
are brought back to one of those fundamental rules of good crafts- 
manship — the recognition of " Convenience in Use." 

Even in the Golden Age of armour, the fifteenth century, the 
armourer was hampered by material and by methods of construction 
which even the most expert craftsman could not overcome; but when 
we reach the period of decadence in the seventeenth century, the 
excellence of craftsmanship had deteriorated to an alarming extent and 
these difiiculties were still greater. The secret therefore of the weight- 
carrying powers of man and horse at the present day is greater con- 
venience in carrying, the scientific distribution of weight, and a more 
adaptable material, which when taken together give greater freedom 
and greater mobility, even though the actual weight be the same as 
the equipment of steel. 

The following table gives the weights of typical suits firom the 
fifteenth century onwards: — 



XV-XVI. — Helms (English). 

Barendyne, Great Haseley, Oxon 
Wallace Collection, No. 78 
Westminster Abbey 
Brocas, Rotunda, Woolwich 
Dawtrey, Petworth, Sussex 
Captain Lindsay, Sutton Courtenay, Berks 
1518. Madrid, A, 37 . 


1520. Tower, II, 28, for fighting on foot 
1530 {circ). Madrid, A, 26 { "^^^^^ ' ; ; 

1590. Tower, II, 9, man 

1439. Musee d'Artillerie, Paris, G, I, man and horse 

.5.4. Tower, II, 5 { E;^,",, ; 

1588. Musee d'Artillerie, G, 80, man 

1590. Tower, II, I o 

1590. Tower, II, 12 

161 2. Tower, II, 18 

lb. oz. 

13 8 

17 o 

17 12 

17 12 

21 8 

24 14 

41 9 



163 o 

^ 13 

69 3 

92 6 

79 o 

55 8 

77 14 





G, I, Musee d'Artillerie, Paris. 
Man, about 140 tb. . . \ 
Armour for man and horse, 163 lb} . V 
Arms, clothes, saddlery, etc., about ^0 lb. , j 

333 lb. 

British Household Cavalry 

„ Heavy „ ... 

,, Medium ,, ... 
Light ,, ... 
German Cuirassier . . . . 

tJte aho-ve are Ser-vice equipment, including rider and saddlery. 

308 lb. 
280 lb. 
266 lb. 

259 lb.2 

- 246 lb.3 

334 lb. 





106-8, Rotunda, Woolwich, Maltese Suits. 
Half-armour and helmet, 25 . . . "» 
Clothes and arms, about 1$ lb. . . j 

40 lb. 

British Infantry. 

Service equipment, including arms 

52 lb.2 

Jglb. iioz.* 

^ Catalogue of the Museum. 

2 Sir G. P. Colley, K.s.i., Encyc. Brit., 1875. 

3 Col. F. N. Maude, Encyc. Brit., 1 91c 
* Morning Post, December 9, 1911. 


A T the present day this Company is combined with that of the 
/-\ Braziers, but this combination only dates from the beginning 
^ ^ of the eighteenth century, when it had ceased to deal with the 
making of armour and was more concerned with other branches of the 
craft of the metal-worker. The objects of the craft-gild of the 
armourers were the same as all those of like nature in the Middle Ages. 

Members were protected from outside piracy of 
methods and trade-marks, they were cared for 
in body when ill or incapable of working, and 
in soul by masses and religious exercises. 

An important detail in the organization of 
these craft-gilds and one sadly lacking in modern 
trade combinations was the examination and 
approval of the members' work by the gild- 
masters. In this way was the craftsman en- 
couraged to produce good work, and also the 
purchaser was protected against inferior work- 
manship. A reference to the Appendices B, K 
will exemplify this, for in these two instances 
alone we find that careless work is condemned 
by the Company. In the document of the reign 

Fig. 62. Arms of the Armourers' of Edward II it is nOtcd that " old baSCUtC 

Company of London. brokcn and falsc now ncwly covered by men 
that nothing understood of ye mystery wh. be put in pry vie places and 
borne out into ye contrye out of ye said Citye to sell and in ye same 
citie of wh. men may not gaine knowledge whether they be good or ill 
of ye wh. thinge greate yill might fall to ye king and his people." 

Again, under Charles I, in the appeal of the Company to the 
Crown, leave to use the mark is requested " because divers cutlers, 



smythes, tynkers & other botchers of arms by their unskillfulness have 
utterly spoiled many armes, armours, &c." 

The Company seems to have existed during the reign of Edward II, 
but was not then incorporated, and with the exception of the docu- 
ment transcribed in Appendix A, there is but little evidence of their 
existence before the date of 31st Henry VI, in which year a Charter of 
Incorporation was granted. This deals mostly with questions relating 
to religious observances, the gild-chapel and like matters. A report 
to the Court of Aldermen, dated 20th Eliz. (1578), as to right of 
search for armour, etc., states that " the Armourers did shewe us that 
in Kinge Edward the Second his time, the Lord Maior and his bretheren 
did then graunte the serche unto the Armourers." 

As has been noticed before, the fact that armour plates were expen- 
sive and difficult to forge will account for the scarcity of examples of 
the defensive equipment up to the sixteenth century. Either the suit 
was remade or, having been cast aside, it was utilized by the common 
soldier as well as might be. It was only when the age of the firearm 
was reached that armour was left in its perfect state and was not im- 
proved upon. We have therefore but little to show whether the 
English armourers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were more 
or less expert than their foreign rivals, but, from other examples of 
metal-work that remain to us, we are forced to the conclusion that the 
foreigner was our superior. At the same time we find on more than 
one occasion that the English armourer claims to equal his foreign 
rival ; but whether these claims were ever proved we are unable to decide 
without actual examples of the craft work or documentary evidence. 
In Appendix J is printed an appeal fi*om Capt. John Martin in 1624 
for leave to import German "platers" to teach English armourers, with 
the hope that this will establish a home trade and will stop the import 
of foreign work. At the same time the very fact of this request shows 
that the craft in England in the reign of James I was not in a very 
flourishing condition. On the other hand, in 1590 the Armourers of 
London petitioned Queen Elizabeth to purchase only home products, 
because they can furnish her with " farre better armors than that wch 
Cometh from beyond the seas." 

In the year 1580 the Armourers' Company endeavoured to obtain 


an Act of Parliament to protect and encourage the craft of the 
Armourer, but with no result owing to the opposition of other Com- 
panies. In the minutes of the Company detailing this effort occurs 
the following passage, which is of interest as bearing upon the skill of 
English workmen at that date : "It was the Master's chance to speak 
with Sir Walter's^ honor again, Dr. Doull, one of the Masters of 
Requests, being with him, praying him to have the Armourers' Bill in 
remembrance. ' What,' said Mr. Doctor, ' there is none of your 

Company that can make an 
armor.' * Yes, sir,' said the 
Master, *that there is verily 
good workmen, and skilful as 
needeth to be.' ' Tell me not 
that,' saith he, 'for I will hould 
you a hundred pounds that 
there is none in England that 
can ^'trampe" an armor for 
the Cappe to the Soul of the 
foot." ' ' I will lay with your 
worship afore Sir Walter's honor 
if you will give me leave that 
we have in England that shall 
work with any in the world 
from the toe to the crown of 
the head from loo to looo' ; 
and then he made as though 
he would have laid it. * No,' 
saith Sir Walter, 'ye shall not 
lay, for he will win of you, for 
they have very good workmen, and I know of the workmanship myself. " 

This skill in craftsmanship was doubtless attained under the tutelage 
of the Almaine armourers that have been referred to before who were 
brought over by Henry VIII to Greenwich. As an example of this we 
may notice the work of Pickering,^ to whom is attributed the suit made 

^ Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
^ William Pickering was Master of the Company 1608-9 

Fig. 63. Design on manifer of suit made for Henry, Prince 
of Wales, by Pickering, cz'rc. 161 1. Windsor Castle. 
Half-size (from a rubbing). 


for Henry, Prince of Wales, now at Windsor Castle, which bears a strong 
resemblance to the work of Jacob Topf, who was Master Armourer at 
Greenwich in 1590 (Fig. 63). 

In 1595 a Court of the Armourers' Company was held to examine 
targets and other pieces of armour, and the decision arrived at was that 
it was "not of the proportion that cometh from beyond the seas, the 
Breast and Back Plates were too short and too narrow everywhere." 
Again in the year 1620 at a Court it was certified that a Sussex smith 
"did alter old Armour, persuading the Countrey that they were work- 
manly done, which notwithstanding were utterly unserviceable." This 
matter was reported to the Justices at Guildford to be dealt with by them. 
From these entries it will be seen that the control of the Company was 
very real and that in the main the English craftsman was of not much 
account until he had learned his trade from foreign experts. 

It was doubtless due to the instruction given by the foreigner that 
the Company possessed skilled hammermen. Under Elizabeth in 1560 
these hammermen were employed to assist in the process of coin-striking 
and were sent, two to the Clothworkers' Hall, two to the Sessions Hall, 
Southwark, and two to the Merchant Taylors' Hall, to strike and stamp 
"with portcullis and greyhound the several pieces of money called 
* Testons,' there to continue until the end of fourteen days from the 
date of precept."^ 

Many of the foreign immigrants took out letters of naturalization 
and became members of the Company, but none of these seem to have 
been craftsmen of note, for the expert workmen were generally recalled 
to the German Court after some time, where there was a wider scope 
and, possibly, higher remuneration for their services. 

The Company, like other Corporations, suffered severely during the 
Reformation. Religious observances were so much a part of the gild 
life that the members soon fell under suspicion, as practising super- 
stitious rites. Heavy fines were enacted, and it was only by the 
generosity of John Richmond, a member of the Company, who bought 
part of the corporate property of the Farringdon estate for £^20 and 
left it back to the Company in his will, that the fine was paid. 

^ In September, 1575, " Hopkins, a maker of coining irons in the Mint, has also been making calivers 
and great iron pieces." — State Papers, suh arm. 


Informers, of whom Tipper and Dawe were the chief, levied black- 
mail on the Company up to the end of the reign of Elizabeth, and 
continued to suggest that superstitious practices were indulged in till 
their demands were met at heavy expense. 

The Armourers had, in 1 5 1 5, absorbed the whole craft of the Blade- 
smiths, which seems to have caused much friction with the Cutlers. 
The books of the Company are full of appeals and negotiations before 
the Court of Aldermen on the question of search for unlicensed crafts- 
men and faulty goods, which was one of the important duties of the 
Company. These were finally arranged by a joint search being made 
by the two Companies. The Company was from the beginning dedi- 
cated to S. George, who was the patron of armourers all over Europe. 
His statue by Donatello, formerly outside the gild-church of Or San 
Michele in Florence, is well known. The figure of S. George appears 
on the charter granted by Henry VI in 1453, and also upon the matrix 
of a seal of about the same date. The registered mark of the Com- 
pany was "A," surmounted by a crown, and this was ordered to be 
stamped upon all weapons, armours, and guns supplied by the Company 
when tested and approved. 

There are many interesting details dealing with the apprentices of 
the Company which, although they do not bear directly upon the craft 
of the armourer, are nevertheless worth recording as typical of the craft 
laws and regulations as practised in England. 

In most craft-gilds it was considered sufficient for an apprentice 
to serve for seven years before he was free of the gild ; but in the 
Armourers' Company we fi-equently find entries of apprentice bonds for 
nine years, and in some instances ten and fourteen. There are records 
of misbehaviour of one of the apprentices, who is ordered " honest 
correction as that a Servant shall be used." This correction was some- 
times administered in the Hall before the Gild-Court, and is described 
as being " indifferently well " carried out. The case of the Sussex 
smith who produced unworkmanly armour has been referred to above. 
In a letter from the Lord Mayor in 1560 we read that the apprentices 
are not to use " swearing and blaspheming, haunting evil women or 
Schools of Fence, Dancing, Carding, Dicing, Bowling, Tennis play, 
using of Ruffs in their shirts. Tavern haunting or Banqueting, and if any 


shall be found faulty the same be forwith punished by whipping openly 
in your Hall in the sight of other Apprentices, and ye shall give in 
charge that the said Masters shall not permit nor suffer any of their 
Apprentices to wear in their hosen any cloth of other colours than are 
here expressed, that is to say, White, Russet, Blue, Watchet, and the 
said Hosen to be made without great Breeches in most plain manner 
without stitching of Silk or any mannar of Cuts." 

The most valuable of the possessions of the Armourers' Company 
from the technical point of view is the suit of armour made by Jacobe, 
who is now considered to be the same as Jacob Topf, an Innsbruck 
craftsman who was Master Armourer at Greenwich in 1590. The 
design for this suit appears in the Almain Armourer s Alburn^ which 
is noticed under the heading of German Armourers. There is also a 
" locking-gauntlet," which is sometimes erroneously called the " for- 
bidden gauntlet," by the same craftsman (Fig. 32). 

The Company at one time possessed a model suit of armour made 
in 1567 by John Kelk, a naturalized German member, which, when 
completed, was brought into the Hall with much ceremony and laid 
upon the high table. It was intended to be a pattern of the armour 
made by the Company. There are various entries in the Company's 
Records of payments for repairing and keeping up this " Mannakine," 
as it was called. It has since disappeared ; but Hewitt, the noted 
authority on medieval armour, seemed to think that it was in the 
Tower in 1855 (II, 52). 


THE following short notices give what details are known of some 
of the more important armourers. In many instances they are 
only known by their works, and no details are forthcoming 
about their private or professional lives. The dates given are those 
of the earliest and latest mention of the individual in contemporary 


(k.a., q.a. = king's or queen's armourer) 

Albert, Hans. 15 15. 

Ashton, John. 1633. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 

Aynesley, Edward. 1633. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 

Baker, Thomas.^ i547« Armourers' Co. 

Basyn, John. 1524—44. (Naturalized Norman.) 

Bawdesonne, Alen. 1547. King's Armourer, Westminster. 

Blewbery, John. 1511-16. (Yeoman of the Armoury at Greenwich, 


Boreman, W., also called Alias Hynde. 1 599-1609. (Appointed 

armourer at Greenwich, 1599. Will dated 1645.) 
Brande, Rauffe.^ 1520. 

Baltesar Bullato. 1532. Milanese, King's Armourer. 
Carter, William. 1534. Ludlow. 
Clere, Hans. 1530. K.A., Greenwich. 
Clynkerdager, Hans. 1542-4. K.A., Greenwich. 
Clynkerdager, John. 1525. 
Copeland. 1529. London. 

Cooper, John. 1627-9. Keeper of the King's Brigandines. 
Cowper, Thomas. 1559. K.A., Greenwich. 
Coxe, Wm. 1633. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 
Croche, Francis. 1528-9. K.A., Greenwich. 

^ At funeral of Henry VIII. 

2 Sent to Flanders in this year to provide armour, etc., for the Field of the Cloth of Gold. 



Crochet, John. 1515-20. K. A., Greenwich. 

Crompton, John. 1544. Southwark. 

Crouche, Wm. 1633. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 

Cutler, Richard.^ 1520. 

Dael, Thomas. 15 15. K.A., Greenwich. 

Daniele, Edmond.^ i547' 

Daniele, John.^ i547' 

Darwin, WilHam. 161 3. Yeoman of the Armoury at Greenwich. 
Dawson. 15 15. K. A., Greenwich. 

Dedikes, Dirike. 1530. Yeoman of the Armoury at Greenwich. 

Dericke or Diricke, Mathew. 1559-74. K.A., Greenwich. 

Dericke or Diricke, Robert. 1524. 

Diconson, John. 1528. K. A., Greenwich. 

Faulkenor, Roger. ^ 1625-31. 

Fevers, Peter. 15 12—18. K. A., Greenwich. 

Foster, Rowland. 1633. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 

Franklin, John. 1633. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 

Fuller, James. 1559. Yeoman of the Armoury, Greenwich. 

Garret, John. i 559-1601 (date of will). Q. A., Greenwich. 

Gurre, Wm. 151 1-38. Brigandarius. 

Haider, Jacob. 1574' Q. A., Greenwich. 

Halore (?), Jacob. 1559. Q. A., Greenwich. (Possibly the same as Haider.) 

Harford, Richard. 1590. London. 

Herste, Martyn. 1574- Q. A., Greenwich. 

Hill, Johan. 1434. Armourer to Henry VI. See page 173. 

Horne, Geofrey. 1 5 1 6- 1 8. 

Hotton, Richard. 1592. 

Hunter, Hans. ^ 1547- Westminster. 

Jacobi or Jacobe.* 1530-90. Master Armourer, Greenwich. 

Kelte, John. 1559-74. Q. A., Greenwich. 

Kemp, Jasper. 1544. K. A., Greenwich. 

Keymer, Roger. 1571. Q.A., Greenwich. 

Kirke, John. 1577. Master Armourer at Greenwich. 

^ Sent to Flanders in this year to provide armour, etc., for the Field of the Cloth of Gold. 

- At funeral of Henry VIII. 

^ Made sundry petitions for inquiry as to the state of the Armouries, S.P.D. Car. I, xiii, 96, etc. 

* Now considered to be the same as Topf. Only mention as armourer in England, 1 590. 


Kirkener, Erasmus or Asamus. 1519-93. Brigandarius, 1538 ; Chief 

Armourer, i 544. 
Kornelys^ 15 ^S* K. A., Greenwich. 
Lasy, John. 1533- Nottingham. 

Lincoln, Thomas. 1604—8. Yeoman of the Armoury at Greenwich. 
Mare de la, Will. K.A., 1672. 

Marshall, Nicholas. 1533. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 
Martyn, " Old." 1544. K. A., Greenwich. 
Mightner, Hans. 1559-74. Q.A., Greenwich. 
Oliver, Jermyn. 1514-44. (Naturalized Norman.) 
Pellande, Richard. 1520. 

Pellysonne, Frances. 1524-44. (Naturalized "from the domains of 
the Emperor.") 

Pickering, William. 1591—1630. Master Armourer at Greenwich, 

Pipe, Nighel. 1559- Q.A., Greenwich. 
Pitwell, Giles. 1516-44. (Naturalized Gascon.) 
Polston, John. 1552. K. A., Greenwich. 
Pounde, John de. 1520. 

Poyes, Francis. 1525-44. (Naturalized Norman.) 
Purday, John. 1562. 
Sewell, John. 1 5 90— i . 

Sherman, Nicolas. 1629. Chief Armourer at Greenwich. 

Spirarde, Carries or Tarys. 1574. Q.A., Greenwich. 

Spyltherup or Speldrup, Francis.^ 1532. 

Stephens, Thos. 1626. K.A. and Armourers' Co. 

Stile, John.^ 1524. K.A., Greenwich. 

Stone, Benjamin. 1636. Sword-smith, Hounslow. 

Ureland, Peter van. 1515. Gilder and Graver, Greenwich. 

Watt Copyn Jacob de. 1512-26. K. A., Greenwich. 

Whetstone. 1628. 

White, Thomas. 141 6. Master Armourer. 
Wolf, John. 1538-42. K.A. , Greenwich. 
Wollwarde, Thomas. 1530-41. K.A., Cireenwich. 
Woode, Richard. 1590. London. 

^ Appropriated gold intended to gild armour, also clipped money. - Died by burning in this year. 



Aldegraver, Heinrich. 1502-58. 
Brabenter, Wilhelm, Solingen. Sixteenth century. 
Colman, Coloman. 1470-1532. Augsburg. Mark No. 40. See 
page 133- 

Colman (Helmschmied), Desiderius. 1552. Mark No. 40. See 
page 134. 

Colman (Helmschmied), Lorenz. 1490-1516. Mark Nos. 2, 23, 41. 
See page 133. 

Frauenpreis, Matthaias. 1549. Mark No. 38. See page 135. 

Frauenpreis, Matthaias, the younger. See page 135. 

Grofsschedl, Franz. Landshut. 1568. Mark No. 39. 

Griinewald, Hans. Nuremberg. 1503. Mark No. 54. Seepage 135. 

Hopfer, Daniel. 1566. See page 136. 

Jovingk, Jakob. Dresden. 1650-9. 

Knopf, Heinrich. 1604. 

Lochner, Conrad. Nuremberg. 1567. Mark No. 46. Seepage 136. 
Obresch, Heinrich. Gratz. 1590. Mark No. 47. 
PefFenhauser, Anton. Augsburg. 1566-94. Mark No. 48. 
Ringler, Hans. Nuremberg. 1560. Mark No. 49. 
Rockenberger or Rosenberger, Hans. 1543-70. Dresden. 
Rockenburger, Sigmund. 1554—72. Mark No. 79. 
Rotschmied. Nuremberg. 1597. Mark No. 6. 
Seusenhofer, Conrad. Innsbruck. 1502—18. Mark No. 7. See 
page 141. 

Seusenhofer, Jorg. Innsbruck. 1558. Mark No. 8. Seepage 141. 
Seusenhofer, Wilhelm. Augsburg. 1547. 

Siebenburger, Valentine. Nuremberg. 1547. Mark Nos. 20, 74. 
Sigman, George. 1560. Mark No. 76. 
Speyer, Peter. Dresden. 1560. Mark No. 60. 
Speyer, Wolf. Dresden. 1580. 

Topf, Jacob. Innsbruck. 1530-90. Seepage 143. 
Trey tz, Adrian. Innsbruck. 1469-15 17. Mark No. 15. 
Veit. Nuremberg. Sixteenth century. Mark No. 16. 


Wolf, Sigismond. Landshut. 1554. 

Worms, Wilhelm (father and son). Nuremberg. 1539. Mark No. 1 7. 


Petit, M. Seventeenth century. Mark No. 83. 


Merate, Gabriel and Francesco. Arbois. 1495. Mark Nos. 18,51,53. 
See page 136. 

Voys, Jacques. Brussels. Fifteenth to sixteenth century. Mark 
No. 56. 


Campi, Bartolomeo. Milan. 1573. See page 132. 
Camelio, Victor. Brescia. 1500. Seepage 131. 
Cantoni, Bernardino. Milan. 1500. See page 133. 
Chiesa, Pompeo della. Milan. 1590. 

Missaglia, Antonio. 1492. Mark Nos. 24, 25, 26. See page 138. 
Missaglia, Petrajolo. Milan. 1390. Mark Nos. 27, 78. 
Missaglia, Tomaso. Milan. 1468. Mark Nos. 27, 78. Seepage 137. 
Mola, Gesparo. Rome. 1640. See page 139. 
Negroli, Philip and Jacopo. Milan. 1530-90. Mark Nos. 42, 43, 

44. See page 140. 
Piccinino, Lucio. Milan. 1550—70. See page 140. 


Hans Burgmair, This celebrated engraver was the son of 

Augsburg, 1473-153 1. Hans Burgmair or Burgkmair. There is some 

confusion between the father and son, but the 
former seems to have worked either as a maker or a decorator of armour. 
The family were neighbours of the famous Colmans, the armourers, who 
lived in the Lange Schmiede gasse, while the Burgmairs had a house 
close by in Mauerburg. In 1526 Coloman Colman left his house to 
live with Hans Burgmair the elder, while Hans the younger took Col- 
man's house. The two families seem to have been on most intimate 
terms. S. Quirin. Leitner considered that the bard of A, 149, Madrid, 
which represents the labours of Hercules and Samson, was designed by 
Burgmair, and Wendelin Boeheim ^ also inclined to this view. His prin- 
cipal works were the Triumph of Maximilian and the illustrations of the 
Weisz Kunig^ both of which show such endless varieties of armour and 
weapons that we cannot but feel that the artist must have had a very 
practical knowledge of the craft of the armourer. 

It would enlarge the present work beyond its original scope if men- 
tion were made of all the artists who designed armour and weapons, for 
in all ages the painter and sculptor have been employed in this direction. 
It will be sufficient to note that designs of this nature are to be found 
in the sketch-books of Donatello, Giulio Romano, Holbein, Leonardo 
da Vinci, Benvenuto Cellini, and Albert Diirer. Reproductions of two 
drawings by the latter are given on Plate XXXI. 

Vittore Camelio, Camelio was born either at Venice or Vin- 

Venice, circ. 1450-1509. cenza. He was a fine engraver and medallist, 

and is considered by Nagler to have invented 
the process of striking coins and medals from steel dies. He was especially 
noted for light steel armour of high temper. He was granted a patent 

1 Meister der WafFenschmiedkunst. 


or concession for the sole working of his invention by the Senate of 
Venice from 1509 for five years. 

Bartolomeo Campi, Campi v^as born at Pesaro, but the exact date 

Pesaro, Venice, Paris, 1573. of his birth is unknown. He was a goldsmith, 

and engraver and maker of arms and armour 
of such merit that they elicited the highest praise from Pedro Aretino 
in his letters from Venice to Bartolomeo Egnazio in 1545. About this 
date he made a magnificent pageant suit of pseudo-Roman armour for 
Guidobaldo II, Duke of Urbino, who presented it to Charles V. The 
cuirass is superbly modelled on the human torse and is decorated with 
a Medusa's head and bands of gold with silver flowers. The shoulder- 
pieces are of blackened steel in the form of masks with golden eyes, and 
the lambrequins hanging from the cuirass end in medallions and masks. 
The helmet is decorated with a crown of golden leaves. On the cuirass 
If this inscription is not an exaggeration, it is little short of miraculous 
that this suit should have been made in one year. It is now at Madrid 
(A, 188). In 1547 Campi directed the fetes held in honour of the 
marriage of Guidobaldo II and Vittoria Farnese at Pesaro. He was 
military engineer to the Republic of Siena, to that of Venice, and to 
the King of France between the years 1554 and 1 560. He assisted the 
Due de Guise at the siege of Calais in 1562, and in 1568 served with 
the Duke of Alba in Flanders, where he was given a commission as 
chief engineer of fortifications at a salary of 500 escudi. The Duke, 
writing to the King on June 3, 1569, says : "I tell your Majesty that 
you have a good man in Captain B. Campi, because in truth he is a 
soldier and has art, although not so well founded as Pachote . . . and 
he is the best man I have met with since I have known men — I do not 
say only engineers, but men of any sort — very happy and steady in his 
work." Campi was killed by an arquebus shot at the siege of Haarlem 
on March 7th, 1573, to the great grief of the Duke and the whole 
army. His brother was an armourer about 1555, but we have no 
records of his work. The magnificent specimen of Bartolomeo's work 



at Madrid is the only example of his craft as an armourer that has 
come down to us (Plate XIV). 

Jacopo and Bernardino But little definite infor- 

Cantoni, mation is to be obtained 

Milan, 1477-1 500. respecting the Cantoni ^ 

family. They worked for Galeazzo Maria Sforza and 1 
other princes, and are mentioned as " magistri 
armorum" in the gild-records of Milan. Bernardino 
worked for the Emperor Maximilian I and produced 
the brigandine (Madrid, C, 11) which bears his 
signature (Fig. 64). This is the only work which 
can be directly ascribed to this family. 

Lorenz Colman, This armourer is also 

Augsburg, d. 1516. known as Colman Helm- IVg^rfcTt 
Mark Nos. 23, 41. schmied. Little is known of Madrid, 
his history except that one of his ancestors was living in Augsburg 
in 1377. His father George was also an armourer who worked in 
Augsburg in the Harbruc and in the Luginsland, craft-streets of that 
city. He died in 1479. The name of his son Lorenz first appears in 
the civic records in 1467, and his work must have soon attracted 
attention, for in 1477 we find him making armour for Maximilian I 
and obtaining the fi*eedom of the city. In 149 1 he was created Hof 
Platner to the Emperor and established himself in a house in Inns- 
bruck. From commissions entrusted to him for buying metal in 
1498 he appears to have been still at Innsbruck, and in 1 506 the records 
of Mantua show that he was making armour for that court. After this 
he seems to have been employed entirely by Maximilian, and in 1508 
he received a large contract for armour for his army. His work is marked 
with a helm surmounted by a cross, and always bears in addition the 
pine, the Augsburg city stamp. Armour from his hand is to be found 
at Madrid, A, 44, and Vienna, 62, 1005, 10 16, 1023. 

Coloman Colman, Coloman was the son of Lorenz, and with the 

Augsburg, 1476-1532. rest of his family took the craft-name of Helm- 
Mark No. 40. schmied, a fact which makes investigations of 
records, documents, etc., of some difficulty. This is especially the case 


with Coloman, whose name is spelt sometimes with a "C" and some- 
times with a "K." The first mention of Coloman in civic documents 
is in 1507. In I 5 12 we find him working for Charles V, and shortly 
after he entered the service of Maximilian I. In 1516 a silver suit of 
armour (steel plated with silver) was ordered from him by Maximilian, 
but in 1 5 19 this suit seems still to have been unfinished, probably 
owing to lack of payments, a reason which was and is always being 
advanced by craftsmen of all kinds for work delayed at this period. 
He employed the two Burgmairs, father and son, to decorate his 

Although Charles V frequently urged him to come to Spain, 
his numerous commissions at home prevented him. He seems to have 
been prosperous in 1 525, for he bought the " Schmied haus in the Karo- 
line strasse" from the widow of Thomas Burgmair. Two portrait medals 
were struck for him in i 5 i 8, 1532. His clientele extended to Italy, and 
in I 5 1 1 he wrote a letter to the Marchesa Francesco di Mantua describing 
a project for completely arming a horse with laminated and jointed 
defences of plate covering head, body, and legs. A picture in the Zeug- 
haus at Vienna shows Harnischmeister Albrecht riding a horse armed in 
this fashion, and a portion of the leg-piece of such a suit is preserved in 
the Musee Porte de Hal, Brussels (see page 9). 

The following works bear Coloman Colman's mark or are known 
from documentary evidence to be fi-om his hand : Vienna, 175. 
Wallace Collection, 402. Madrid, A, 19 ; A, 37-42 ; A, 59 ; A, 93-107 
(Tonlet suit "The Chase") ; A, 108-11 ; E, 57 ; E, 59. Dresden, G, 15. 

Desiderius Colman, Desiderius was the son of Coloman Colman. 

Augsburg, arc. 1532. In 1 532 he took over the workshops in the 
Marks, the same as No. 40. Mauerburg at Augsburg, which his father had 
shared with the Burgmair family. He worked at first with the armourer 
Lutzenberger, who married the stepmother of Desiderius in 1545. In 
1550 he became a member of the City Council, and in 1556 he was 
made Court Armourer to Charles V. This title was afterwards con- 
firmed by Maximilian II. Desiderius seems to have used the same 
mark as his father, hence there is some confusion between the two 
craftsmen. The suits known to be by him are at Madrid, A, 157, 158, 



239, 142 — the splendid parade 
suit made for Philip II, which is 
signed and dated 1550, and the 
richly embossed and chased round 
shield A, 24 1 , which is also signed 
and dated 15 April, 1552. It is 
upon this shield that he recorded 
his rivalry with the Negrolis (Plate 
XXIV, Fig. 65, also page 16). 

Fig. 65. Detail of Shield by Desiderius Colman 
(Plate XXIV). 

Matthaias Frauenpreis^ 
Father, 1529-49. 
Son, 1 5 30- 1 604. 
Mark No. 38. 

The elder Frauenpreis or Frauenbreis was a 
pupil of the Colman family (q.v.), and in i 529 
married the widow of a helm-smith. He is first 
heard of as an independent workman in 1530. 
The following works are ascribed to him or his son : — 




A, 198. A brassard forming part of the suit A, 190, made by 
Desiderius Colman. 

D, 68. A shield signed with his name on which the figure of 
Fortuna is ascribed to Hans Burgmair. 

M, 6. A small shield marked with his stamp No. 38. 

950. Field suit of Archduke Maximilian. 

397. A white and gold suit bearing the mark No. 38. 

G, 39. A fine suit of Kurfiirst Moritz, bearing the mark No. 38. 
Illustrated on Plate VII. 

Hans Grunewalt, His grandfather was a bell -founder of Nurem- 

Nuremberg, 1 440-1503. berg, who made the bells for the church of 
Mark No. 54. s. Sebald in 1396. In 1465, after his father's 

death, Hans built a large house and workshop, after much litigation with 
the city over his glazing or polishing mills. In 1480 he owned many 
houses in Nuremberg, and built the " Pilatus " house near the Thier- 
gartner-Thor, close to the house of Albert Diirer. He worked for the 
Emperor Maximilian I, and was the most serious rival of the Missaglia 
family of Milan, who at this time were the most celebrated armourers 
of Europe. The mark No. 54 is ascribed by Boeheim to Grunewalt. 
Works bearing this mark are to be found in the W^affensammlung, Vienna, 
66, 995. 


Daniel Hopfer, Hopfer was in the first instance a painter, a 

Augsburg, c/rr. 1 495-1 566. designer and maker of stained glass, and an 

engraver. He settled in Augsburg in 1495. 
According to Heller he died in 1549, but this is not borne out by the 
entries in the account books of Maximilian II, who employed him and 
his brother. In the Hofzahlantsbuch, under the date 1566, it is stated 
that Daniel and his brother George, both of Augsburg, were ordered 
by Maximilian II to make 110 new helmets for the Trabantengarde 
and to decorate them with engraving. Four were made in March as 
samples, and the remainder were to be delivered in July at a cost of 
397 gulden 42 kreutzer. Much of the work of the brothers Hopfer 
consisted in decorating armour made by other masters, of whom Colo- 
man Colman was the chief. In Madrid are several examples of the 
work of Daniel: A, 26 and 65 are horse-armours which are deco- 
rated in Hopfer's style, and A, 27, 57 are jousting-shields which are 
certainly from his hand ; the latter is signed and dated 1536. 

Conrad Lochner, In 1 544 Conrad, or Kuntz as he is sometimes 

Nuremberg, 1510-67. called, was Hofplatner to Maximilian II with 
Mark No. 46. retaining fee of 14 florins 10 kronen, and in 

1 547 Maximilian gave him a settled yearly pension. He must have given 
up his appointment in 1 5 5 1 , for we find Hans Siefert Court Armourer in 
this year. He was born at Nuremberg in 1 5 1 o, where his father followed 
the trade of an armourer, and had two brothers who worked with him, 
but the names of the Lochners do not often appear in the royal accounts. 
Like most of his craft, he was frequently in money difficulties, and had 
great trouble in collecting his debts from the King of Poland. His works 
are found at Berlin, 116, a horse-armour; Paris, G, 166, 182, 565, 
566 ; Madrid, A, 243 ; Dresden, E, 5 and G, 165 ; Vienna, 334. He 
frequently used tritons and sea-monsters as a motif for his decorations. 

Gabrielle and Francesco In 1 494 the Merate brothers were sent for by 

Merate, Maximilian I and did work for him personally. 

Milan and Arbois, ^^^^ obtained a contract for three years, 

ctrc 14.04.— I C2Q 

Marks, possibly 18, 51, 53. which they received 1000 francs and 1000 

gulden, under which they pledged themselves 
to set up a forge, workshops, and mill at Arbois, in Burgundy. Gabrielle 



was also to receive loo francs a year and to be free of taxes, an advan- 
tage frequently granted to master-armourers. For this he had to deliver 
annually fifty suits stamped with his mark, each suit costing 40 francs, and 
one hundred helmets at 10 francs each, one hundred pair of grandgardes 
at 5 francs, and one hundred pair of garde-bras at 40 francs the pair. 

The enumeration of the last two items in pairs is unusual, as they 
were defences only worn on the left shoulder and arm and would not 
be sold in pairs. At the same time we should remember that the terms 
used for different portions of the suit are often confused, and a word 
which now has a certain definite meaning in collections was often used 
in a totally different sense. The Merates were bound by this contract 
to work only for the Emperor. Their stamp is generally supposed to 
be a crown and the word " Arbois," but it is uncertain as to what actual 
specimens now in existence are by their hands. Possibly the " Burgun- 
dian Bard " (II, 3) in the Tower was made by them. It bears a crescent 
and the letter "M," and is decorated with the cross ragule and the flint 
and steel, the Burgundian badges which were brought to Maximilian by 
his wife, Mary of Burgundy. Their names are mentioned in the list of 
tax-payers in the parish of S. Maria Beltrade, the church of the Sword- 
smiths' Gild, at Milan under the date 1524-9, and they are also men- 
tioned in a letter from Maximilian to Ludovico il Moro in 1495 as 
excellent armourers. They took their name from the village of Merate, 
which is near Missaglia, a township which was the birthplace of the 
famous Missaglia family. 

Work stamped with the word "Arbois" and the crown is found at 
Vienna, 917, 948, and the " M" with the crescent is marked on the 
bard of A, 3 at Madrid, on II, 3 and II, 5, Tower of London. 

Thomaso Missaglia, The family name of Thomaso and his de- 

Milan, arc. 141 5-1468. scendants was Negroni, as is proved by a tomb- 
Marks 27, 78. stone formerly in the church of San Satiro at 
Milan on which the two names appear. They came from the township 
of Missalia, near Ello, on the lake of Como. Petrajolo, the father of 
Thomaso, was also an armourer, and worked about the year 1390, but 
we have little knowledge of his history. The house occupied by the 
Missaglias was in the Via degli Spadari, Milan, and was decorated with 



the family badges and monograms (Fig. 66). It was demolished in 
1 90 1 in the course of street improvements, but was first carefully drawn 

and described by Sigs. Gelli and Morretti in 
their monograph on the Milanese armourers. 
The heavy work of the armourers was carried 
out at a mill near the Porta Romana, for which 
the Missaglias paid a rent of one sallad a year 
to the Duke of Milan. Thomaso da Missaglia 
was ennobled in 1435 by Philip Maria Visconti 
and was made free of taxes in 1450. There are 
many records of commissions to him and of 
taxes and other municipal matters connected 
with the family in the Archives of Milan. He 
Fig. 66. Capitai^formeriy in the dicd in 1 469 and was buricd in the church of 
Via degh Spadan, 1 an. ^ Maria Beltradc, Milan. The only known 
work by this master is No. 2 in the Vienna Collection (Plate XXX). 
Baron de Cosson ^ has pointed out the strong resemblance between this 
suit, the effigy of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in S. Mary's 
Church, Warwick, and the picture of S. Gporge by Mantegna in the 
Accademia, Venice. 

Antonio Missaglia^ 
Milan, ctrc. 1430-92. 
Marks 24, 25, 26. 

Antonio was the son of Thomaso Missaglia, 
and was one of the foremost of the Milanese 
armourers. As has been noticed in the Intro- 
duction, the style of armour which was evolved by him and his father 
seems to have been adopted by German craftsmen. There are numerous 
records of payments and letters connected with Antonio in the Archives 
of Milan from the year 1450 onwards. He worked for Galeazzo Maria 
Visconti and for Bona di Savoia and after the death of the former 
became Ducal Armourer. In 1456 he made armour for the Papal troops, 
and about this time he enlarged the workshops of the family in the Via 
degli Spadari. In 1469 the Duke of Milan gave him a mill near the 
S. Angelo Canal. In 1470 he received a lease of iron-mines near the 
forest of Canzo, near the Lago del Segrino, from the Ducal Chamber, and 
in 1472, in recognition of his services to the State, he was allowed to 
purchase the property. 

1 Anh, Journ., XLVIII. 



The last entry in the Milanese Archives relating to Antonio refers 
to his mines and furnaces in a letter to Bona di Savoia, April 20th, 1480. 
In the MSS. Lib., Trivulziano, is a report of the Venetian Embassy which 
came to Milan on its way to Germany, written by Andrea de Francesca. 
This report states that Antonio's workshops were visited and armour was 
seen there to the value of 1000 ducats. He seems to have had a son 
Scabrino, but there are no records of him as an armourer. Antonio died 
at the end of the fifteenth century and is the last of the family who used 
the name of Missaglia. His successors reverted to the family name of 
Negroni or Negroli. The suit No. 3 in the Vienna Collection is stamped 
with his mark (Plate II), and many helmets of the sallad type and 
various pieces of armour bear a similar stamp in other armouries, such as 
the Wallace Collection, the Porte de Hal, Brussels, etc. etc. The close 
helmet on the "Tonlet suit" in the Tower, II, 29 (Plate X), is engraved 
with the Collar of the Garter and bears the Missaglia stamp, and a suit 
in the Musee d'Artillerie, G, 3, bears the same mark. 

Gasparo Mola, Mola is the only armourer whom we can 

Rome, circ. 1 590-1 640. identify as having worked in Rome. He was 

born about the year 1590 at Breglio, where 
his father was an architect. He came to Milan at an early age and 
worked there as a goldsmith. In 1607 he made various objects in gold 
and silver for the Duke of Savoy. In the same year he was summoned 
by Duke Ferdinand de Medici to Florence, where he worked for two 
years. In the years 161 3 -14 he produced medals for Mantua and 
Guastalla, and about the same time he executed work for Carlo 
Emmanuele I of Savoy. He committed suicide in 1640. Though we 
have no data for the theory, it seems not unlikely that it was the studio 
of Mola which Breughel has represented in his picture of Venus at 
the Forge of Vulcan. The ruins in the background certainly suggest 
some of the buildings in Rome, which might have been used for this 
purpose. There are also many medals and examples of goldsmith's 
work shown on this picture in addition to the armour. 

He was an expert in enamel-work and made richly decorated pistols, 
and in 1642 produced a fine helmet and shield which are now in the 
Bargello Museum, Florence. 


Philippo and lacomo Negroli, Philippo and Jacomo Negroli were sons of 
Milan, arc. 1521-80. Bernardino who worked in Rome. It is un- 
Marks 42, 43, 44. certain whether their father still kept the name 
of Missaglia, which was used by Antonio and Thomaso Negroni. The 
earliest known work by these masters is dated 1532. For some years 
they were assisted by their brother Francesco, who left them about this 
date and worked alone for the Mantuan Court. Brantome and 
Vasari both mention Philip as being a craftsman of very high repute. 
His armour was always very costly, and Brantome states that a morion 
made by him would cost 40 thalers and that in sixteen years he had 
amassed 50,000 thalers. He seems to have been ennobled, for Brantome 
calls him Seigneur de Negroli. He had a house in the Porta Comassina, 
the wealthy quarter of Milan. His work is always ornate, but does 
not transgress the craft-laws to such an extent as did the armour of 
Peffenhauser and Piccinino (Plate XXIX). Work by the Negrolis is 
to be found as follows: In Madrid, A, 139—46; D, 13, 30, 64. 
Vienna, 330. Paris, G, 7, 10, 178. 

Anton Peffenhauser, We have no details of the life of this crafts- 

Augsburg, 1 525-1 603. man beyond the dates of his birth and death. 

He is best known as the maker of elaborately 
decorated armour. The suit made for King Sebastian of Portugal (Madrid, 
A, 290) is one of the most ornate suits in existence (Plate XIV, also 
p. 75). His works are found as follows: Madrid, A, 290. Dresden, 
C, 10, 13, i5<^, 20; D, II ; E, 6^, 10; G, 146. Vienna, 489, 490. 

Lucio Piccinino, Lucio was the son of Antonio Piccinino, the 

Milan, circ. 1590. famous sword-smith. It is uncertain whether 

he actually produced armour himself or 
whether he was solely concerned with the decoration. Like Peffen- 
hauser he delighted in lavish display of ornament without any considera- 
tion to its fitness for armour. His work is extraordinarily minute and 
the technical skill displayed is extreme. His work is only to be found 
at Madrid, A, 291-4, and at Vienna, 543. 

, The son of a noted craftsman, Pompeo was 

Pompeo aella Chiesa, r i r • 1 1 

Milan 1590 roremost armourers m the latter 

years of the sixteenth century. He was Court 



Armourer to Philip III of Spain, and to the Archduke of Milan, 
Alessandro Farnese. His work is found in the Armeria Reale, Turin, 
C, 21, 70 ; in Vienna, 858, 859. 

Conrad, Hans, and Jorg 
Seusenhofer, 1 47 o- 1 5 5 5 . 
Marks 7, 8. 

The brothers Conrad and Hans at different 
periods filled the position of Court Armourer 
to Maximilian I. Conrad was born between the 
years 1450 and 1460. He was cousin to Treytz, who produced the Weisz 
Kiinig^ that chronicle of the doings and artistic endeavours of the young 
Maximilian which, while it is amusing in its sycophantic adulation of 
the Emperor is, at the same time, an 
invaluable record of the operations of the 
applied arts of the period and of cos- 
tumes and armour then in fashion. 

In 1 504 Conrad was appointed Court 
Armourer for a period of six years with 
a further agreement for a pension of 50 fl. 
afterwards for life. In the same year he 
received money for enlarging his work- 
shops, but after much correspondence it 
was deducted from his salary. The 
young Emperor had theories about the 
making of armour as he had about every 
other art and craft, and working in con- 
junction with his armourer, and, pre- 
sumably, taking credit for his craftsman's 
expert knowledge, evolved the fluted 
style of plate armour which still bears 
his name. It was based upon Italian 
models of the Gothic type which, at the 
end of the fifteenth century, was distinguished by certain graceful 
flutings which Conrad and his master elaborated till they covered the 
whole surface of the armour. 

At this time the craftsmen of Brussels were noted experts in the 
tempering of steel, and both Maximilian and Henry VIII employed 
ironworkers from this city in their armouries. 

Fig. 67, Engraving on the left cuisse of 
Henry VIII's Suit, made by Conrad 
Seusenhofer (Tower, II, 5). 


Much of the raw material was drawn from Styria, and was exported 
in such large quantities to England that the supply was in danger of 
running short ; so a monopoly was established and exportation forbidden. 
This naturally raised the price, and was one of the many causes which 
combined to keep up a ceaseless friction between Maximilian, his Diet, 
and his armourers. 

Seusenhofer favoured elaborate ornament on his armour, and this 
did not please the officials who were responsible for the equipment of 
the army. He was urged to produce plainer and more serviceable 
work, a suggestion which Maximilian with his love of pageantry ignored. 
In 1 5 1 1 we find Seusenhofer complaining that Kiigler, the mine- 
master, was sending him inferior metal, and as he considered that the 
use of it would be detrimental to the reputation of Innsbruck as a 
factory of armour, he suggested that it should be classed as Milanese. 
In 151 1 the famous Engraved Suit," now in the Tower of London, 
was put in hand as a present from Maximilian to Henry VIII. 

From the State Archives of Innsbruck (Jahrbuch II, reg. 1028) we 
find that two cuirasses were ready for the King of England, one gilded. 
There were apparently five others to be made, one of which was to be 
silvered. This was probably the suit above mentioned. 

The whole of the suit is covered with fine engraving representing 
the stories of S. George and S. Barbara, with foliage and heraldic 
badges. The designs have been engraved and a detailed description 
given by Sir S. Meyrick in ^rchceologia^ XXII. 

The horse-armour is not by the same hand, for the engraving is 
coarser. It may have been executed in England by German craftsmen 
to match the rider's armour (see Plates X, XII, Fig. 67). 

There were ceaseless troubles over the payment and delivery of work 
from the royal workshop. Sometimes Seusenhofer would retain work 
for which the Emperor had pressing need till payment was made, and 
on one occasion, when speedy delivery was not made, Maximilian 
ordered the armourers to be placed in the forefront of the battle, with 
no armour on, to show them what inconvenience their delay was caus- 
ing ! It is needless to say that the armour was delivered at once. So 
obsessed with the idea of his omniscience was the Emperor that when, 
in the Weisz Kilnig^ Seusenhofer suggests some secret method of work- 



ing the metal, he repUes : "Arm me according to my own wishes, for it 
is I and not you who will take part in the tournament." Again, Maxi- 
milian writes : "If you have forgotten the art which I have taught you 
let me know and I will instruct you again." 

The date of Conrad's death is unknown, but it was, as far as can 
be ascertained, about the year 15 17. 

He was succeeded as Court Armourer by his younger brother 
Hans, and he in turn gave place to his nephew Jorg, who produced 
the suits which exist at the present day in Paris, G, 41, 117 ; Vienna, 
283, 407. The only authentic work of Conrad is in the Tower of 
London, II, 5. 

Jacob To f have but little information respecting 

Innsbruck 1530-90 Topf, in spite of the minute researches of the 

late Dr. Wendelin Boeheim. From civic records 
at Innsbruck he appears to have been one of three brothers. David, 
the youngest, was in service with Archduke Ferdinand at Ambras and 
died in 1594. In 1575 we find Jacob working for the Archduke at 
Innsbruck. Boeheim discovered in his investigations that Topf was 
absent from Germany between the years 1562 and 1575 and was probably 
employed in Italy, England, and elsewhere. There are no records of 
his employment in England except in a letter written by Sir Henry Lee 
in 1590, where mention is made of " Master Jacobe,"^ who is now con- 
sidered to be Topf. We have, however, a most valuable record of work 
which was in all probability his in the Almain Armourer s Alburn^ 
now in the Art Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

This book consists of large drawings in ink and water-colour 
(17 in. by i i^in.), thirty-one in number, which show twenty-nine suits 
of armour with details of extra pieces for the joust. 

On No. 14 is the signature: "These Tilte peces made by me 
Jacobe," but the name Topf does not occur in the Album. 

In the year 1790 the book was in the possession of the Duchess of 
Portland, at which time Pennant engraved the second suit of Robert 
Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for his History of London. Strutt also en- 
graved the suit of George, Earl of Cumberland, in hi?, Dresses and Costumes 
(II, Plate CVLI). The library of the Duchess of Portland was sold in 

^ See page 66. 



1 and the Album disappeared till the year 1 894, when it passed into 
the Spitzer Collection. At the Spitzer sale it was bought by M. Stein, 
of Paris, and on the advice and through the personal efforts of Viscount 
Dillon, the present Curator of the Tower Armouries, it was acquired 
for the nation. 

Several of the drawings have been carefully reproduced by Mr. 
Griggs in a book, edited by Viscount Dillon, under the title of 
^Imain Armourer s ^Ibum^ and it is by the courtesy of the editor 
and publisher that the accompanying illustrations are reproduced in the 
present work. 

The following list gives the complete series of plates in the Album and 
shows which of the suits illustrated in the original are now in existence. 


1. The Earle of Rutlande. 

2. The Earle of Bedforde. 
The Earle of Lesseter (ist suit). 
The Earle of Sussex 

Suits in Existence 
(None complete in all parts.) 


The gauntlets were in the Spitzer Col- 

5. Duke John of ffineland Prince of 


6. Ser William Sentle. 

7. My Lorde Scrope. 

8. The Earle of Lesseter (2nd suit) 

9. My Lord Hundson. 

10. Ser George Howarde. 

1 1. My Lorde Northe. 

12. The Duck of Norfocke. 
1 1. The Earle of Woster 

14. Ser Henry Lee (ist suit). 

15. Sur Cristofer Hattone (ist suit) 

A portion of a suit in the Tower of 
London (II, 10) is of very similar de- 
sign — evidently by the same hand. 

A portion of this suit in the Tower (II, 
9). At Windsor Castle a burgonet, 
bufFe, breast, back, placcate, gorget, 
bevor, taces, lance-rest, sollerets. 

Windsor Castle. The gorget is a restora- 
tion (Plates XXV, XXVI). 




1 6. The Earle of Penbrouke 

17. Ser Cristofer Hattone (2nd suit) 

18. Ser John Smithe . 

19. Sr. Henry Lee, Mr. of tharmerie 
(2nd suit). 

20. The Earle of Cumberlande . 

21. Sr. Cristopher Hatton (3rd suit). 

22. Mr. Macke Williams. 

23. My L. Chancellor [Sir Thomas 


24. My L. Cobbon. 

25. Sir Harry Lea Mr. of the Armore 

(3rd suit). 

26. My Lorde Cumpton 

27. Mr. Skidmur [John Scudamor]. 

28. My Lorde Bucarte 

29. Sr. Bale Desena. 

Suits in Existence 
(None complete in all parts.) 

Wilton House. 

The suit of Prince Henry at Windsor 
was copied from this and from No. 
17 by W. Pickering (see Plate XX). 

Tower, II, 12. This suit has brassards 
which are not shown in the sketch in 
the Album (Plates XXVI, XXVIII). 

Armet in the Tower (IV, 29). Locking- 
gauntlet in the Hall of the Armourers' 
and Braziers' Co., London (Plate XIII, 
Figs. 32, 68). Burgonet, bufFe, and 
leg-armour at Stockholm. 

Appleby Castle. 

Hall of the Armourers and Braziers' 
Company, London. On each side of 
the breast in the band of engraving 
are the initials A. V. (Fig, 69), which 
probably stand for Anne Vavasour, 
natural daughter of Sir T. Vavasour 
and Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen 
Elizabeth. The Nat. Diet, of Biog. 
states that she was Sir Henry Lee's 

Portions of this and of the next suit were 
formerly at Home Lacy and are now 
in the Metropolitan Museum, New 

Wallace Collection, 435. 

There is also a suit at Vienna (491), made for Archduke Carl of 
Steiermark, which Boeheim considered to be from Topf's hands. 


Fuller details of the above suits will be found in the reproduction 
of the Album above referred to, and also in ^rch, yourn.^ LI, 113. 

Fig. 68. Gauntlet and armet of Sir Henry Lee (from the Armourer's Album, 
Victoria and Albert Museum). See also Plate XIII and Fig. 32. 

Fig. 69. Rubbing of 
design on breast of 
Sir Henry Lee's 
suit, Armourers' 
Hall, London. 


THE following have been taken from rubbings, drawings, and 
prints, and the authorship of the marks is that given in the 
several catalogues. The nationality of the armour is given first 
as German, Italian, Spanish, or French ; following this is the approximate 
date ; and lastly the Museums in which the mark is found with the 
catalogue number. The Roman figures denote the century to which 
the mark is ascribed. 

A = Athens, Ethnological Mus. 

B = Brussels, Porte de Hal. 
Ber= Berlin, Zeughaus. 

D = Dresden, Johanneum. 

G= Geneva. 

L= London, Tower. 

M = Madrid, Real Armeria. 

N = Nuremberg. 

P = Paris, Musee dArtillerie. 

S = Stockholm, Lifrustkammer. 

T = Turin, Armeria Reale. 

V= Vienna, WafFensammlung. 
Ven= Venice, Museo civico and Arsenale. 







9 0 







26 27 





37 38 








Armourers' Marks. 



28 29 


9 0 ti Q 


44 46 46 



1. XIV. P, H, 23. 

2. XV. P, H, 27. 

3. XV. P,H,4i. 

4. Germ., XV. P, G, I. 

5. XV. P, H, 36. 

6. Rotschmied, Germ. 1597. G. 

7. Conrad Seusenhofer, Germ. 1518. L, II, 5. 

8. Jorg Seusenhofer, Germ, 1558. V, 283, 407. P, G, 41, 117. 

9. Valentine Siebenbiirger, Germ. 1531-47. V, 226. 

10. Germ., XV. P, H, 11. 

11. Germ., XV-XVI. P, H, 42. 

12. It., XVI. P, H, 55, 305. 

13. It., XVI. P, H, 54. 

14. Germ., XVI. P, G, 23. 

15. Adrian Treytz, Germ. 1469-1517. V, 66, 1018. 

16. Veit, Germ., XV-XVI. N, V. 

17. Wilhelm von Worms, Germ., XVI. V, 226, 296. 

18. Merate brothers. It. 1495. V, 917- 

19. Germ., XV-XVI. P, G, 18. 

20. F. Siebenburger, Germ., XVI. P, G, 22, 568. 

21. Germ., XVI-XVII. P, H, 166. D, E, 556 (see also 97). 

22. City of Augsburg, XV-XVII passim. 

23. Lorenz Colman or Helmschmied, 1516. P, G, 536 ; V, 1005. 

24. Antonio da Missaglia, It. 1492 passim (see also 36). 

25. Antonio da Missaglia. 

26. Antonio da Missaglia. 

27. Petrajolo and Tomaso da Missaglia. 1400-68. V, 2, 3, 897 ; P, H, 29 (see also No. 78). 

28. Germ., XVI. P, H, 158. 

29. Germ., XV-XVI. P, G, 382. 

30. Sigismund Wolf, Germ. 1554. P, G, 63, 64, etc. ; M, A, 231. 

31. It. (?), XVI. P, G, 36. 

32. Germ., XVI. P, G, 147, H, 97. 

33. It., XV. A (possibly a Missaglia mark, see No. 24). 

34. It., XV. A. 

35. It., XV. M, D, 14. 

36. Antonio da Missaglia, It., XV-XVI. P, H, 29. 

37. XVI. P, G, 84. 

38. Matthaias Fraiienpreis, Germ. 1549-75. V, 397, 950 ; D, G, 39. 

39. Franz Grofsschedl, Germ. 1568. V, 989 ; D, C, i, 2. 

40. Coleman Colman or Helmschmied, Germ. 1470-1532. V, 175 ; D, G, 15; A, 19, 59, 73, etc. 

41. Lorenz Colman or Helmschmied, Germ. 1516. V, 62 (see also No. 23). 

42. Philipp Negroli, It. 1530-90.1^ ^ 6 p 6 

43. Phihpp and Jacomo Negroli „ » ' oi* t ' i j> o > t 

44. Philipp and Jacomo Negroli (?). P, G, 7, 10, 178. 

45. City of Nuremberg, XV-XVII passim. 

46. Kunz or Conrad Lochner, Germ. 1567. V, 334 ; P, G, 182, etc.; M, A, 243 ; S, 64. 

47. Heinrich Obresch, Germ. 1590. 

48. Anton PefFenhauser, Germ. 1566-95. V, 489 ; M, A, 290. 

49. Hans Ringter, Germ. 1560. V. 

50. XVI-XVII. P, G, 124. 

51. Possibly the Merate brothers, It. XV-XVI. V, 60 ; L, VI, 28 ; M, A, 3. 

52. Germ., XVI. V, 9. 




'•VS ^ 







m IT 















lOI I02 I03 

Armourers' Marks. 













53. Possibly the Merate brothers, It., XV-XVI. V, 948. 

54. Possibly Hans Gu'mewalt, Germ., XV-XVI. V, 66, 995. 

55. It., XV. V, 5- 

56. J. Voys, Netherland, XV-XVI. B, II, 39, 40 ; M, A, 11 

57. XV. M.A, 4. 

58. XV. M,A,6. 

59. On a mail skirt, XV-XVI. T, G, 86. 

60. Peter von Speyer, Germ., 1560. Ber. 

61. It., XV. Gen. 

62. It., XV. Gen. 

63. Germ., XV-XVI. P, H, 76. 

64. It., XV. Gen. 

65. Germ., XVI. V, 63. 

66. It., XV-XVI. Ven. Mus. civico. 

67. It., XVI. Ven. Arsenate. 

68. On a sallad with Missaglia mark. It., XV. Ven. Mus. civico. 

69. Germ., XVI. B, II, loi. 

70. Germ., XV-XVI. V, 1022. 

71. Armourers' Company, London, XVII. L. 

72. Germ., XV. D, A, 75. 

73. Netherlands, XV. D, A, 75. 

74. Siebenburger (?), Germ., XVI. B, II, 92. 

75. It., XVI. M, A, 147. 

76. Jorg Sigman, Germ., XVI. M, A, 238. 

77. It., XV. A. 

78. T. and P. da Missaglia, It., 1400-1468. P, H, 29 ; V, 2, 3 ; L, II, 29 (see Nos. 24-7). 

79. Sigmund Rosenburger, Germ. XVI. D, C, 3, 4. 

80. City of Augsburg (?), XVI. D.^ 

81. City of Augsburg (?), XVI passim. 

82. Germ., XVI. D. 

83. M. Petit. Fr. XVII. P, H, 150; V, 711 ; M, A, 379. 

84. Sp., XV. M, D, 24. 

85. It., XV. A. 

86. It., XV. A. 

87. XVII. M, B, II ; T, C, 14. 

88. XV. P, H, 141. 

89. Germ., XV-XVI. L, II, 37. 

90. XVI. L, III, 186. 

91. Germ., XVI. L, II, 3. 

92. Sp., XV. M, C, 10. 

93. Sp., XV. M, C, 10. 

94. It., XV. A. 

95. XV. M, D, 18. 

96. Germ., XV. B, II, 170. 

97. Germ., XVI. B, II, 182 ; D, E, 556 (see also No. 21); S, on a crossbow, 143. 

98. Germ., XVI. B, II, 30. 

99. Germ., XVI. B, II, 3. 

100. Possibly the city of Wittenburg, XVI. B, II, 4, 41. 

101. Sp., XV. M, C, 10. 

102. Sp., XV. M, C, 10. 

103. It., XV. A. 

104. Germ. XV. V. 

1 A similar mark was used by the Armourers' Company, London, about 1640. 



The meanings of the words in this Glossary are given either from comparison 
of various scattered entries in contemporary documents or from the following 
works : — 

Boeheim. Waffenl{unde. 1890. 

Cotgrave. Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, 161 1. C. 
Du Cange. Glossaire Frangais. Edit. 1879. 
Florio. A Worlde of Woordes. 1598. F. 

Gay. G/oiJ^^/r^- y^rt/^^Vo^/^«^, A-G (never completed). 1887. G. 
Harford. English Military Discipline. 1680. H. 
Meyrick. Antient Armour (glossary). 1842. 
Roquefort. Glossaire de la Langue Romaine. 1808. R. 
Valencia Catalogue of Real Armeria^ Madrid. 

Where no reference letter is given the meaning given is that generally accepted 
at the present day. 

The names of the different parts of the suit of plate armour are given in English, 
French, German, and Italian and Spanish are given on pp. iio, iii. 

Abzttg, Germ, the trigger of a gun. 
Achsel, Germ, see pauldron. 
Achselhohlscheihe , Germ, see rondel. 
Achselschilde, Germ, see ailette. 
Acroc, a hook or clasp. 
Adargue, a heart-shaped buckler, G. 
Affust, I 

Afia, }g"n-carnage. 
Agaric, tinder used with flint-lock gun. 
Agier, O.F. darts. 

Aguinia, machines or engines of war. 
Agu-zo, It. the point of the spear. 
Aiguilettes, tags at the ends of laces for fastening 

the various pieces of armour. 
AUettes, wing-like pieces of plate or cuir-bouilly 

worn on the shoulders. Very rare and seldom 

seen on monuments. XIII-XIV cent. 
Aketon, see gambeson, 

20 153 

Alaharda, It. halberd. 

Alagiih, Halagues, O.F. soldiers of fortune, free- 
lances, R. 

Alarica, a heavy triangular-pointed spear. 
Alberc, Germ, see hauberk. 
Alberia, a shield without armorial bearings. 
Alborium, a bow of hazel, XI cent. 
Alemele, Fr. the lame or blade of the sword. 
Alemella, It. a knife or dagger, XIV cent. 
Alfauge, Sp. cutlass. 
Alferamia, Sp. a banner. 
Algier, O.F. dart. 

Allecret, a variety of half-armour, end of XVI cent. 

Almarada, Sp. a stiletto or dagger. 

Almayne rivet, suit of light half-armour, XVI cent. 

Almete, Sp. a close, round helmet, armet. 

Atzo, It. the " sight" of the firearm. 

Amadue, Fr. see agaric. 

Ameure, a dagger. 



Amorce, priming. 
Amorcoir, Fr. powder-flask. 

Amussette, Fr. a breech-loading musket, XVIII cent. 

Anelace, a broad-bladed dagger, early XIV cent. 

Afigon, a javelin used in the VI cent. The head 
was heavy and the top part of the shaft thin, so 
that it bent on impact and thus hampered the 
stricken man, G. 

Atiimes, a cuirass of horizontal lames, R. 

Antehrachla, see vambrace. 

Antela, see poitrel. 

Antia, the handle of a buckler. 

Anzerdecke, Germ, see barde. 

Appogiar, the cantle of the saddle. 

Arbalest, a crossbow. 

Arbalest a eric, a heavy crossbow used in sieges. 
Arbalest a cranequin, a crossbow drawn with a 

Arbrier, the tiller of a crossbow. 
Arcabuz, Sp. see arquebus. 

Archet de fer, the moulded ring on the breech of a 

cannon, base-ring. 
Archegaye, a staff sharpened at both ends carried by 

estradiots, XV cent. 
Archibuso, It. see arquebus. 
Arcioni, It. the fore and aft peaks of the saddle. 
Arcon, the saddle-bow. 
Arescuel, the grip of a lance, R. 
Arest de lance, vamplate, later the lance-rest, G. 
Arganello, It. the windlass of a crossbow. 
Argolets, French mounted arquebussiers, X VI-XV II 

cent., R. 
Arma b'tanca. It. ^ 
Artne blanche, Fr. j 

Armacudium, an indefinite weapon of offence. 
Arma d^asta, It. any long-shafted weapon. 
Armatoste, Sp. the windlass of a crossbow. 
Amies a Vepreuve, pistol-proof armour. 
Armet, a close helmet with bevor and movable 

Armil, see surcoat. 

Armin, an ornamental hand-grip for the pike made 

of velvet or leather. 
Arming-honett , a padded cap worn under the helmet. 
Arming-doublet, worn under the armour. 
Arming-hose, long hose worn under leg-armour. 
Arming-points, laces for tying on parts of the suit of 


Arming-sivord, a short sword worn on the right 

Armkachen, Germ, elbow-cops. 

Armoyer, O.F. armourer, maker of sword-hilts, R. 

Armrdhen, Germ, cannon of the vambrace. 

Armrust, Germ, crossbow. 

Armure cannelee, Fr. fluted armour. 

Armzeug, Germ, brassard. 

Arnesi, It. harness as used for " armour." 

Arquebus, a musket of XVI cent. 

Arret, Fr. small decorated tabs used on straps for 

armour and horse-furniture, G. 
Arret de lance, Fr. lance-rest. 
Arriere-bras, Fr. see rerebrace. 
Arr'iere-hilt , the counter-guard or knuckle-bow of 

the sword. 

Asbergo, a breastplate or cuirass, a vamplate, P. 

Asper, aspar, the " grip " of the lance. 

Asperges, O.F. a mace, R ; see holy-water sprinkle. 

Astile, It. the shaft of a lance. 

Astonne, a lance, R. 

Astregal, a moulding on a cannon. 

Atilt, the position in which the lance was held in 

Attry, O.E. artillery. 
Auber, see alborium. 

Ausfatz, Germ, the " sight " of a firearm. 
Avance, Fr. the front peak of the burgonet. 
Avant-bras, see vambrace. 
Avant plat, see vamplate. 

Aventail, breathing aperture in helmet, the earliest 

form of visor. 
Azz3l, It. a long-shafted axe. 

Azzimino, It. fine inlay work on Oriental weapons, 


Bacchetta, It. a ramrod. 

Back-sivord, sword with single-edged blade. 

Bacul, O.F. crupper of horse-trappings, R. 

Bacyn, see bascinet. 

Badelaire, Fr. a short cutlass. 

Bagonet, \ a dagger fitted to the musket, circ. 
Bayonet, / 1 67 2. 

Bagordare, O.It. to hold a burlesque tournament. 

Baguette, ramrod, also brayette, q.v. 

Bainbergs, shin-defences of metal or cuir-bouilly. 

Baldrick, \ an ornamented belt to carry the sword, 

Baivdric, ) XIV cent. 

Balestra, It. see arbalest. 

Balloch knife, a knife or dagger with balls instead of 

quillons, XV-XVI cent. 
Balayn, \ whalebone used for crests or the swords 
Balon, i for tourneys. 



Balottera, a stone bow, F. 

Banded mail, mail formed of rings through which a 
leathern thong was passed horizontally on the 

Bandes, Fr. see lames. 

Bandes de bout d^affust, trail-plate of a cannon, H. 

Bandes de dessus, axle-tree bands, cape squares, H. 

Batidolier, musketeer's belt to carry gun-charges in 
separate cases of wood or metal. 

Bannerets^ those knighted on the field of battle and 
entitled to carry banners. 

Banquelets, Fr. strips of decorated metal on a sword- 
belt to keep the belt rigid, 6. 

Barbazzale, It. the " grummet " of a bridle. 

Barbera, Sp. see mentoniere. 

Barb'iere, Fr. "| 

Barhote, Sp. > see bevor. 

Barbotto, It. J 

Barbuta, a piece of head-armour, a bevor, F. 
BarbuteA a. form of bascinet of unknown type, also 
Barbet, ) a light horseman. 
Bardes, \ 

T> J- I horse-armour. 

Barde de criniere, Fr. see crinet. 

Bardiche, a variety of pole-axe. 

Barducitim, see morning star. 

Barthaube, Germ, chin-guard of plate. 

Barriers, the division of wood which separated com- 
batants in foot-jousts, also the jousts themselves. 

Bascinet, a light helmet of ovoid form tapering to a 
point at the summit, worn with or without a 
visor, XIII-XV cent. 

Bascuette, O.E. see bascinet. 

Base, O.F. a short sword or cutlass, R. 

Bases, skirts of fabric or, in armour, of plate, XVI 

Basilard, a curved civilian sword, XIV cent. 
Bask sword, a stout, single-edged blade. 
Bassinet, Fr. priming-pan of a firelock. 
Bastard sivord, a long sword for cut and thrust 
with grip sufficiently long for two hands, or a 
blunted sword for practice. 
Boston, a mace or club with polygonally cut head. 
Boston, gros, O.F. large ordnance, R. 
Bottecul, see garde-rein. 
Batticuli, taces or loin-guards of plate, F. 
Bauchreifeuy Germ, see taces. 
Baudik, see bald rick. 
Baudrier, Fr. cross-belt. 
Bovier, Fr. "l 
Baviera, It. / 

see bevor. 

Bergaman, O.F. a cutlass or dagger from Bergamo, 

Bear-paiv, \ ^ r .11 

n J - a form or solleret with obtuse pomt. 

Jjec an cane, ] 

Becco di corvo. It. see martel de fer. 
Bee de faucon, Fr. a war-hammer. 
Beckenhaube, Germ, see bascinet. 
Beinrdhren, Germ, see jambe. 
Beintascheii, Germ, see tassets. 
Beinzeug, Germ, see cuissard. 
Beringt, Germ, ringed mail. 

Beruier, Fr. a light head-piece with ear-flaps and 

chin-strap, XV cent., 6. 
Besagiies, O.E. small plates to protect the armpits, 

any small plates of metal. 

Bessa, a pickaxe used by pioneers, XV cent. 

Beavor, \ , 
D ) the chin-piece of an armet or a sallad. 

Jjevor, ) ' 

Bicoquet, Fr. a species of bascinet with neck and 

chin piece, XV cent., G. 
Bicorn, \ 

n- I- > small anvil. 
JtSickiron, ) 

Bigateno, O F. a javelin or dart, R. 
Bilbo, a. small rapier. 

Bill, a weapon with scythe-like blade and six-foot 

Billette, F., see toggle. 

Biro, O.F., a dart, javelin, or arrow, R. 

Bisacuta, \ the military pick or two-edged axe, 

Bisague, O.F., i XIII-XIV cent. 

Bishops mantle, a cape of mail. 

Blacon, O.F., a buckler or shield, R. 

Blanc haubert, Fr., coat of mail. 

Blanchon, O.F., a kind of pike, R. 

Blank ivafte. Germ., see arme blanche. 

Boetes, boxes, H. 

Bohordicum, a burlesque joust in which sham lances 

(bohours) were used. 
Bombarde, an early form of ordnance resembling a 

Bonbicinium, see bascinet. 
Bar don, \ 

Bordonasse, \ a lance used for jousting. 
Borto, I 

Boson, an arrow with a blunt point. 

Bossoirs, the bosses on the peytral of a horse. 

Botafogo, Sp. see linstock. 

Botta a. It. ^ armour proof against sword, axe, or 
Botte h, Fr. f lance blow. 

Botte cassee, Fr., armour proof against all weapons, 
" high proof." 



Botton, a button or buckle for fastening the gorget 
to the breast-piece. 

Bouche, the hole cut in the corner of the shield 
through which to point the lance ; also the cir- 
cular hole in the vamplate. 

Boucles^ Fr. see genouilliere. 

Boudrier, Fr. see bandolier. 

buckram used for tournament armour. 


^oujm \ ^^^'^^"^^^'^^'^ arrow for shooting game. 

Boujon, V a crossbow quarrel, R. 
Boulon, ] 

Bourdonasse, Fr. see bordon. 
Bourlet, Fr. a coif. 

Bourlet, Fr. the swell of the muzzle of a cannon. 
Boiirlettf, Fr. a mace. 

Bonrrelet, a, Fr. a method of attaching two plates 

together sliding in burrs or slots. 
Boutefeu, Fr. linstock. 
Bouterolle, Fr. the chape of a sword. 
Boutreaux, Fr. the pendent strips of leather or 

fabric which decorated the horse-trappings of 

the XV-XVI cent., G. 
Bracdale, It. brassard. 

Bracciahiola, It. a small shield with arm-guard and 

"sword-breaker" in one piece. 
Bracciali, It. see brassard. 
Braccoiimere, Fr. see taces. 

Bracelet, Fr. the ring of metal which joined the 
vambrace to the rerebrace, the elbow-cop, C. 

Bracer, a leathern wrist-guard used by archers of 

the long-bow. 

Bracheta, O.It. I , 

„ , ' \ see brayette. 

Braghetta, It. ) 

Brafidistocco, It. a three-pronged spear, a swine- 

Braquemart, a short, broad-bladed cutting sword. 
Brasalot, O.F. see elbow-cop. 

Brassard, the whole arm-defence, including vam- 
brace, elbow-cop, and rerebrace. 

Brasselet, see bracer. 

Bratspiess, Germ, see ranseur. 

Brayette, O.F. for codpiece. 

Brazale, Sp. brassard. 

Brechenmesser, Germ, see falcione. 

Brechr'dnder, Germ, neck-guards on the pauldrons. 

Bretelles, Fr. straps for joining breast and back pieces. 

Briccola, O.It. a tiller or crossbow to shoot stones 
or arrows, F. 

Brichette, armour for loins and hips. 
Brichette, \ 

Brikette j '''^^^st-armour, XV cent. 

Briga/idine, a body-defence of small plates riveted 

to a cover and lining of fabric. 
Briquet, Fr. a sword of cutlass form, early XIX cent. 
Brise-cuirass, Fr. a short, strong dagger. 
Brise-epee, Fr. see sword-breaker. 
Brochiero, It. a small buckler used for sword and 

buckler fights. 
Broigne, a shirt of mail. 
Broke, O.F. a kind of dagger, R. 
Broquel, Sp. see rondache. 
Brujula, Sp. see visor. 

Brtmt, O.E. the front or peytral of a horse-trapper. 

Briistpatizer, Germ, see peytral. 

Brnstschild mit schmhart. Germ, tilting-breastplate 

with mentoniere. 
Brtiststuck, Germ, breastplate. 
Brygandyrojis , see brigandine. 
Budriere, It. cross-belt for a sword. 
Btife, a movable bevor used with an open casqe. 
Bufeta, Sp. neck-guards on a pauldron. 
Buffa, the bufFe or face-plate of a burgonet. 
Bufe, a coat of buff leather. 
Buffetin, Fr. see colletto. 
Burdo, see borto. 
Bukel, Germ, see rondache. 
Burghera, a gorget, F. 

Burgonet, 2l light, open helmet, generally found 
with ear-flaps and sometimes a face-guard, XVI- 
XVII cent. 

Burr, the iron ring on the lance below the "grip" 

to prevent the hand slipping back. 
Buttafuoco, It. see linstock. 
Butteire, Fr. a type of arquebus. 
Bu7,o, It. see quarrel. 

Cahasset, a helmet with narrow brim all round, 

XVI cent. 

Cairelli, O.It. see quarrel. 

Caissia, It. a case or quiver for arrows. 

Cake, the vamplate of a lance, also the butt end, 

also stockings, F. 
Caliver, a short firelock. 

Calote, a skull-cap worn under the hat by cavalry, 

XVII cent. 

Caltrop, a ball with four spikes placed on the 

ground to receive cavalry. 
Calva, Sp. skull or bowl of a helmet. 


Camaglio^ It. see camail. 

Camail, a hood or tippet of chain mail, XIV-XV 

Camba, O.It. see jambs. 
Camberia, see jambieres. 

Catnisado, It. the wearing of white shorts over 

armour for night attacks. 

^ / O.F. the part of the horse-trap- 

Lampaue, ) . , l l j j 

^ „ \ pings on the haunches, decorated 

' with large bells, XV-XVI cent. 

Cambrasia, O.It. a dart or arrow, F. 

Catimti, the tubular vambrace. 

Cantle, the rear peak of the saddle. 

Capel de tierfs, a whalebone or leather helmet, XIV 


Capelina, It. a skull-cap of steel. 
Capellum, the sword sheath or scabbard. 
Capertiza, Sp. see chapel-de-fer. 
Carcasse, Fr. a bomb. 
Carcasse, It. a quiver. 
Cardelli, It. see quarrel. 
Cargau, a collar or gorget of mail. 
Cornet, the visor. 

Carosella, \ ^ j^jj^j^ fight with clay balls and shields. 
Lar ousel, ] ° ■' 

Carquois, Fr. a quiver. 

Carreau, Fr, see quarrel. 

Cartouche, Fr., a charge of powder and shot wrapped 

up in paper ; a cartridge. 
Casque, open helmet, often of classical design, late 

XVI cent. 

Casquetel, an open head-piece with brim and back 

peak reaching far down the neck, XVII cent. 

Cassa^ It. the stock of a firearm. 

Castle, O.E. a variety of helmet. 

Cataffratto, \ -i i j i 

^ , fa mail-clad horse. 

Lataphraclus eques, ' 

Cataye, O.F. a javelin or a catapult, R. 

Catchpole^z long-handled spring fork used to catch the 

opposing knight round the neck and unhorse him. 
Catocio, the charge of powder for musket or 

cannon, F. 

Caxeo, 1 c: 

\ bp. see casque. 
Caxa, f 

Cazo/eia, Sp. the "pan" of the arquebus. 

Celada de eugole, Sp. a helm worn for foot-jousts with 

axe, sword, or spear. 
Celata, It. see sallad. 
Celata da incastro. It. see armet. 
Celata V etieziam. It. a Venetian form of sallad with 

a nose-piece, XV cent. 

Cerbata?ie, some kind of ordnance, G. 
Cerveliera, It. a metal skull-cap, a secrete. 
Cervicale, Fr. see crinet, G. 

Cesello, It. repousse-work used in the decoration of 

Chamfron^ "j 

Chanfrehi, \ defence of plate for the horse's head. 
Chatifron, ) 

Champ-clos, O.F. see lists. 

Chape, the metal tip at the lower end of a sword or 

dagger sheath. 
Chapel deader, Fr. a steel war-hat. 
Chapel-de-fer, Fr. a broad-brimmed helmet used 

from XII to XVI cent. 
Chapel de Montaubaii, Fr. a steel war-hat made at 

Montauban, XIV cent. 
Chapeive, see chapel-de-fer. 
Chapras, the brass badge worn by a messenger. 
Chard, the string of a sling. 

Chartiel, O.E. the bolt that fixed the tilting-helm to 

the breastplate. 
Chausses, covering for the lower leg and foot of 

chain mail. 

Chaussons, trews or breeches of chain mail. 
Cheeks, the strips of iron that fix the pike-head to 

the shaft. 
Cheminee, Fr. the nipple of a gun. 
Cherval, a gorget. 
Chastoties, rivets. 
Chianetta, a helmet, F. 
Chiave da mota. It. key for a wheel-lock. 
Chien, Fr., cock of a firelock. 
Ch'iodo da voltare, It. a turning-rivet. 
Choque, some kind of firearm, variety unknown. 
C'tmier, the crest on the helm. 

Cinquedea, It. a short, broad - bladed dagger for 
ceremonial use, made in Venice and Verona, five 
fingers {cinque ditta) wide at the base. 

Ciseau, a blunt-headed quarrel for the crossbow, G. 

Clavel, O.F., a lace for fastening the coif of mail 
or the hauberk, G. 

Clavones, rivets. 

Claid heamh, a sword, Gaelic. 

Claid mor^ a broadsword, Gaelic. 

Claid crom, a sabre, Gaelic. 

Claid caol, a small sword, Gaelic. 

Claymore, a Scottish two-hand sword (see 
above). The modern use of the word is 

Clef, trigger. 

Clevengi, studs to fasten the fendace or gorget. 



Clibanion, a jack of scale armour, G. 
Clipeus, It. a circular shield. 

Clous perdus, Fr., false and useless rivet-heads found 

in XVII-cent. armour. 
Cnemide, Fr. see jambs. 

Cache, the notch of an arrow, the nut of a cross- 
bow, C. 

Coda di gambero, It. see lobster-tail. 
Codole, Sp. elbow-cop. 

Codpiece, a piece of plate to protect the fore-body. 
Coif de mailes, hood of chain mail, see camail. 
Colichemarde, swords invented by Kbnigsmark about 

Colet, ) 

Coletin, > Fr. a gorget, also a jerkin, 
Collettin, ) 

Colletto, It. a buff coat. 
Collo, It. see crinet. 

Colodrillo, Sp. the plate of the helmet that covered 

the nape of the neck. 
Coltellaccio, It. see cutlass. 
Cophia, a coif of mail. 
Coppo, It. the skull of a helm or helmet. 
Corale, see cuisses. 
Coracina, Sp. cuirass. 
Corium, armour composed of leather. 
Cornel, \ O.E. the rosette or button fixed on the 
Coromll, ) tip of the lance in some forms of tilting. 
Corpel, O.F. the hilt of a sword, R. 
Corregge, It. see bretelles. 
Corseque, Fr. a species of partizan, G. 
Corsesca, It. see ranseur. 
Cosciale, \ 

Coscioni, \ see cuissard. 
Costale, J 

Coscheives, O.E. see cuisses. 

Costa, It. the wings on the head of the war-mace. 

Coat-armour, see surcoat. 

Coterel, O.F. a large knife, R. 

Cotta di maglia. It. a coat of mail. 

Cottyngyre, cold-chisel. 

Coude, ^ 

Coudiere, V elbow-pieces of plate. 
Coute, ) 

Coup de poing, Fr. a small pistol. 

Coursel, Fr. windlass for a crossbow, G. 

Coussart, a demi-glaive, XV cent. 

Coustile, Fr. a knife and possibly a staff-weapon 

with cutting point, G. 
Coustil a croc, \ short, single-handed sword with 
Coutel, I two-edged blade. 

Couvrenuque, Fr. the neck-plate of the back of the 

armet or sallad. 
Cracoives, \ sometimes used for poleynes and also 
Crakoes, j for pointed shoes, XIV cent. 
Crampon, a bolt for attaching the helm to the 


Cranequiti, the wheel and ratchet machine for bend- 
ing the crossbow. 
Cravates, French mounted militia. 
Cresta, It. -\ 

Cresteria, Sp. V crest of a helmet. 
Crete, Fr. J 

Crete-echelle, a support fixed from helm to back- 
plate to take the shock when tilting. 

Cretu, O.F. a sword-breaker, R. 

Crinet, armour for the horse's neck. 

Crochets de retraits, trail-hooks of a cannon, H. 

Criniere, see crinet. 

Croissante, see moton. 

Crosse, the butt of a gun or a crossbow. 

Croupiere, armour for the hinder part of a horse. 

Cubitiera, It. elbow-cop. 

Cubrenuca, Sp. see couvrenuque 

Cuirass, body-armour, originally of leather, after- 
wards of plate. 

Cuir-bouillyAAeiences for horse and man made of 

Cure-buly, ) boiled and moulded leather. 

Cuissards, leg-armour, comprising cuisses and 
knee-cops and jambs. 

Cuishe, \ 

Cuisse, \ thigh-pieces of plate. 
Cuyshe, ) 

Cuissots, see cuisse. 
Culasse, the breech of a gun. 
Culet, kilt or skirt. 
Cullotes, Fr. breeches. 

Culverin, a hand-gun or light piece of ordnance, 

XV, XVII cent. 
Curatt, see cuirass. 

Curtate, O.It., a variety of cannon, F. 

Curtana, the blunted " sword of Mercy " used at 

the Coronation. 
Curtelaxe, O.E. for cutlass. 

Ciclaton, "i a tight-fitting surcoat shorter in front 
Cyclas, ) than behind, XIV cent. 
Cyseau, O.F. an arrow or dart, R. 


Daburge, a ceremonial mace. 

Dag, Tag, a short pistol, XVI-XVII cent. 

Dague a couillettes, Fr. see balloch knife. 


Dague a orellles, a dagger with the pommel fashioned 

like two circular wings. 
Dague a rognons, Fr. a dagger with kidney-shaped 

projections above the quillons. 

Dague a ruelle, Fr. a dagger with thumb-ring. 

Dard, Sp. javelin. 

Degen, Germ, sword, dagger. 

Demi-poulaitie, pointed sollerets of medium length. 

Demy-teste, O.E. a steel skull-cap, C. 

Destrier, a war-horse. 

Detente, Fr. the trigger. 

Diechlinge 1 ^ 

. * (• Germ, see cuisse. 
Dieling > 

Dilge, Germ, leg-guard for jousts. 

Dabbles, O.E. probably moulds or patterns on which 

armour was made. 
Dolch, Germ, poniard. 
Dolequin, a dagger, R. 
Doloire, a short-handled axe, G. 
Doloti, O.E. a club, R. 
Dorso, It. the back of a gauntlet. 
Dos, Sp. back-plate of a cuirass. 
Doss 'tere, Fr. the back-piece of the cuirass. 
Dussack, Hungarian and German sword of cutlass 



Ecrevisse, Fr. see lobster-tail. 

Ecu, Fr. shield. 

Ecouvillon, sponge of a cannon. 

Eisetikappe, Germ, a skull-cap of steel. 

Eisenschuhe, Germ, see sollerets. 

Elbow-cops, elbow-pieces of plate armour. 

Elboiv gauntlet, a metal or leather glove with cufF 

reaching to the elbow, XVI, XVII cent. 
Elingue, O.F. a sling, R. 
Ellenbogenkachel, Germ, see coude. 
Elmo di giostra. It. a tilting-helm. 
Elsa, \ 

Else, \ the hilt of a sword or dagger, F. 
Elza, ] 

Enarmes, the loops for holding a shield. 
Encoche, see coche. 
Enlace, see anelace. 

Epaul'iere, \ g^oulder-defence, of plate. 
Espaliere, J 

Epaule-de-Mojjton, Fr. see poldermitton. 

Epieu, a spear ; a spear with crossbar or toggle, G. 

Esca, It. tinder. 

Escarcelas, Sp. tassets. 
Escarpes, Sp. sollerets. 
Esclaivine, O.F. a dart, R. 

Escopette, a pistol or carbine with a firelock, C. 

Espada, Sp. a long sword. 

Espadin, Sp. a short sword. 

Espaldar, Sp. pauldron. 

Espare, O.F. a dart, R. 

Espieu, see epieu. 

Espingardier, an arquebussier, 0. 

Esponton, Fr. see spontoon. 

Espringale, a siege crossbow on wheels, a piece of 

siege ordnance, G. 
Espuello, Sp. spur. 

Estival, leg-armour for a horse ; exceedingly rare 
in MSS. ; only one example of this armour 
exists, in Brussels. 

Estoc, a thrusting sword. 

Estradiots, Greek horsemen, temp. Charles VIII. 
Estramapon, the edge of a sword, a sword-cut. 
Etoupin, a quick-match. 
Etriere, a military flail, G. 
Etrier, Fr. stirrup. 

Exsil, O.F. the scabbard of a sword, R. 


Falcione, It. see falk. 
Falda, It. see taces. 

Falarique, an arrow headed with tow, for incendiary 

purposes, G. 
Faldaje, Sp. taces. 

Falk, a primitive weapon formed of a scythe-blade 
fixed on a pole ; a glaive. 

Falsaguarda, Sp. the wings on the blade of the two- 
hand sword. 

Fan-plate, the " wing " on the outside of the knee- 

Fuuchard, see glaive. 
Faucre, Fr. a lance-rest. 
Fautre, Fr. thigh-armour. 
Faux, see falk. 

Feather-staff, a staff in which are concealed spikes 

released by a spring. 
Federzapfen, Germ, spring-pins to which the paul- 

drons are hung, XVI cent. 
Fendace, a species of gorget, XV cent. 
Feure, O.F. a scabbard, R. 
F'mncali, It. see tasset, also flanchard. 
Fioreti, It. a thrusting foil. 



armour for the flanks of a 

Flail, the military flail was like the agricultural 
implement, but as a weapon of war the thresher 
was of iron instead of wood. 

t:., , ' I a two-hand sword with wavy blade. 
r lamberge^ ' ^ 

Flamherg, Germ, rapier with wavy blade. 

Flanchard, O.E. ^ 

Flancois, Fr. 

Flankenpanzer, Germ. 

Flanqueras, Sp. 

Flaon, Fr. a wedge fastened to the breast-piece which 

took the shock of the shield ; see poire. 

Fleau, Fr. military flail. 

Flech'iere, see flanchard. 

Fletcher, a maker of arrows. 

Fleuret, thrusting foil. 

Flight, an arrow for distance shooting. 

Flo, O.E. arrow. 

Forcim, It. a gun-fork. 

Forconi, It. a military fork for escalades. 

Fornimento, It. the hilt of a sword. 

Fouchard, see glaive. 

Fouloir, the rammer of a cannon. 

Framee, O.F. a mallet or mace, R. 

Francesca, It. a battle-axe or pole-axe. 

Francisque, a long-handled axe, R. 

Freccia, It. an arrow. 

Freiturnier, Germ, a joust run without a barrier, 

XVI cent. 
Frete, O.F. a variety of arrows, R. 
Frog^ the hanger of a sword-belt. 
Fronde, Fr. a sling. 
Frontale, It. see chamfron. 
Fronteau, F. see chamfron. 
Fueille, the blade of a sword, 0. 
Fusetto, It. see misericorde. 

short musket with a firelock. 
Fitssturnier, Germ, joust on foot, XVI cent. 
Fust, the stock of a firearm. 


Gadlings, knuckle or finger spikes fixed to the 

(Gay derives this from canepin, sheep 
or goat leather, hence a glove of lea- 
ther, mail, or plate. Meyrick explains 
it as a sword. 
Galapentin, O.F. a sword or sabre, R. 
Galea, It. a helm, 

Gambeson, a quilted tunic, XI cent. 

Gambiera, It. see jambs. 

Gardaignes, O.F. arms, clothing, etc., R. 

Garde-de-bras, reinforcing piece for the left arm, 

used in tilting. 
Garde-faude, Fr. see codpiece. 

Garde-ferre, O.F. the rest of the lock of the 

arquebus (pan cover .''), 0. 
Garde-collet, Fr. neck-guards on the pauldron. 
Garde-rein, E.Fr. loin-guard of armour. 
Garde-queue, Fr. the tail-guard of a horse. 
Garrock, \ used for the quarrel of the crossbow 
Garrot, ) and also for the lever. 
Gaudichet, O.F. a mail shirt. 
Gaveloc, \ 

Gaveloche^ \ a species of javelin. 
Gavelot, J 

Gavette, It. the string of the crossbow. 
Genestare, O.F. a javelin, R. 

Gedritts, a German form of joust in which the 

challenger fought two opponents in succession. 
Gejingerte hnndschuh. Germ, gauntlet with separate 

articulated fingers. 
Geldiere, O.F. a kind of lance, R. 
Genetaircy a javelin, XV. cent. 
Genouillieres, jointed knee-pieces of plate. 
Gentilhomme, a wooden cannon bristling with spikes, 

XVI cent., G. 
Gesafreifen, Germ, rein or loin guard. 
Gestech, various forms of the joust as practised in 

Germany, run without barriers. 
Ghiazarino, It. see jazerant. 
Gibet, a military mace. 
Gibiciere, Fr. a cartridge box, also pouch. 
Ginocchietti, see genouilliere. 
Gisarme, a staff" weapon of the glaive order. 
Giostra, It. joust. 

Glaive, a species of bill with a large blade. 
Glazing-ivheel, polishing-wheel for armour plates. 
Gliedschirm, Germ, see codpiece. 
Goafs-foot, a lever for bending the crossbow. 
Godbert, see hauberk. 


a species of short club at the top of 
which is a spike, XIII-XIV cent. 

' j- a hedging-bill, C. 


Goiz, O.F. a sword, R. 
Gola, Sp. 1 
Goletta!!,. ? 

Gonpillon, Fr. see holy-water sprinkle. 
Gonfanon, Fr. a flag or standard. 


a wide plate collar to protect the 
throat, XVIII cent. ; purely orna- 

Grappes, Fr. 



shin-defence, of plate. 

Gorgiera, It. 
Gorjal, Sp. 
Gougerit, Fr, 
Gossets, see gussets. 
Graffe, Fr. a small dagger. 

Grand-guard, reinforcing piece for tilting, worn on 

the left shoulder. 
Grano d'orxo. It. chain mail closed with a rivet. 

'a toothed ring on the " grip " of the 
lance which held the weapon 
firmly against the wood or lead 
block behind the lance rest. 

Greve, Fr 
Greba, Sp. J 

Gronda, It. see couvrenuque. 

Groppa, It. 1 

\ c f see crupper. 
Grupera, op. ) ^'^ 

Guancia/i, It. ear-flaps of a burgonet. 

Guardabrazos, Sp. see pauldron. 

Guardacorda, It. see garde-queue. 

Guardacuore, It. see mentoniere. 

Guardagoletta, It. the neck-guards on the paul- 


Guarda-o-rodillera, Sp. knee-cop. 
Guardastanca, It. see grand-guard. 
Guige, the strap round the neck to carry the shield, 
XII cent. 

Guiterre, O.F. a small buckler of leather, R. 

Gusset, pieces of chain mail, tied with points to the 
" haustement " to cover those portions of the 
body not protected with plate armour j they were 
usually eight in number, viz. for armpits, inner 
side of elbows, knees and insteps. 

Guyders, straps to fasten the various pieces that 
went to make up the suit of plate armour, also 

Gymurs, the servers of catapults and the like siege 


Hackbuss, see arquebus. 

Hake, demi-hake, O.E. the former an arquebus, the 

latter a short firearm, XVI cent. 
Hagbuttes, arquebus. 
Hahtou, see gambeson. 
Halacret, see alacret. 
Halagues, crossbowmen, R. 

/a long-shafted weapon with crescent- 
Halebarde, shaped blade on one side and a hook 
Halbert, •( or spur on the other, surmounted by 
Harlbart, a spear-head ; sometimes found with 

double blade, XV and XVI cent. 
Halsberge, Germ, see gorget. 
Hampe, the staff of a halbert or pike. 
Hand and half sivord, see bastard sword. 
Hansart, O.F. a missile weapon of the javelin 
order, R. 

Harnischehappe , Germ, the padded cap worn under 

the tilting-helm. 

Hars, O.F. a bow, R. 

Harthstake, a rake or poker for the forge. 

i/rtw^^rffow,] short (shirt of chain mail, XI to XII 

Hauberk, [long [ cent. 

Haulse-col, \ „ 

TT ; . rr. see gorget. 

Hausse-col, ) ° ° 

Hauscol de mai/es, Fr. see standard of mail. 

Haustement, Fr. a close-fitting undergarment to 

which the hose and the chausses were fastened 

with points. 
Haute iarde, Fr. a high-peaked saddle. 
Haute cloueure, Fr. high-proof armour, especially 


Hauste, O.F. the staff of a pike, R. 

Heaume, a heavy helm without movable visor and 

only an eye-slit or occularium, mostly used for 


Hendeure, Fr. the " grip " of the sword. 

Hentzen, Germ, mitten gauntlets. 

Hinterarm, Germ, see rerebrace. 

Hinterjluge, Germ, the back-plate of the pauldron. 

Hinterschurz, Germ, see garde-rein. 

Hobilers, common light-horse troopers. 

Hoguines, see cuisse. 

Holy-water sprinkle, a shaft of wood fitted with an 

iron spike-studded ball, XVI cent. 
Horse-gay, a demi-lance, XV cent. 
Hosting harness, armour for war as distinct from 

that of the joust. 
///v//Jf;;,a light head-piece worn by archers, XVIcent. 

a long sur coat worn over the armour, XVcent. 
Huvette, Fr. a head-piece of leather or cloth 

stiffened with wicker or metal, XIV cent. 
Hivitel, Anglo-Saxon, knife. 


Imbracciatura, It. see enarmes. 
Imbricated mail, see jazerant. 




Jack, a loose-fitting tunic of leather, either quilted 

or reinforced with plates of metal or horn. 

Jamhers, \ • i 

' y see jambs. 
Jambeux, J 

Jamboys, skirts of plate, XVI cent., see bases. 
Jambs, armour for the lower leg. 
Janetaire, see javelin. 

Jarnac, Brassard a la, a jointless arm-piece of plate 

reaching from shoulder to wrist. 
Jarnac, Coup de, 2l cut on the back of the leg or 

a " hamstringing cut." 
Jazerant, body-armour made of small plates, of the 

brigandine type. 
Jeddartstaff, a long-shafted axe. 
Jupon, a short surcoat, XIV-XV cent. 
Justes of peace, jousts at barriers. 


Kamm, Germ, the crest or ridge of the helmet as 

distinct from the heraldic crest. 
Kamf hands chuhe. Germ, gauntlet. 
Kehlstuck, Germ, the neck-plate in the front of an 


Kettyl-hat, a wide-brimmed steel war-hat, XIV cent. 
Kinnreff, Germ, bevor. 

'knee-defences, of plate, first worn 
over chain-mail chaussons, and 
afterwards with complete plate 

Knuckle-bow, the part of the sword-guard that pro- 
tects the knuckle. 
Kragen, Germ, gorget. 
Krebs, Germ, see tasset. 

Lama, It. sword-blade. 

Lama a biscia. It. see flamberge. 

Lamboys, see jamboys. 

Lambrequin, a species of hood of cloth attached to 
the helmet with " points," and failing down at 
the back to protect the wearer from heat and 

Lames, narrow strips of steel riveted together 
horizontally as in the taces. 

Lance a bo'ete, a lance with blunted point. 

Lance de carriere, a lance for tilting at the ring, C. 

Lance a rouet, or courtoise, blunted lances for tourna- 
ments, R. 

Knlebuckel, Germ.- 
Kniestuck, Germ. 

Lance-rest, an adjustable hook or rest fixed on the 

right side of the breastplate. 
Lancegay, "| O.F. a short spear, hence light horse- 
Launcegay,\ man, R. 
Lanciotto, It. javelin. 

Lansquenette, \ a broad - bladed double - edged 

Landsknecht, I sword, and also German mer- 

Lanxichenecco, It. J cenary infantry, XVI cent. 

Leva, It. see goat's-foot lever. 

Lendenplatte, Germ, a large cuisse for tilting. 

Lingua di bue. It. see cinquedea. 

Linstock, a combination of pike and match-holder, 

used by gunners for firing cannon. 
Lobster-tail, back peak of a helmet, or cuisses, made 

of overlapping lames like a lobster-shell, XVII 


Lochaber axe, a long-shafted axe. Scottish, XVII, 
XVIII cent. 

Locket^ the metal socket at the top of the sword 
sheath with button for hanging to the belt. 

Locki7ig gauntlet, a gauntlet of plate in which the 
finger-plates lap over and fasten to a pin on 
the wrist, used for fighting at barriers, XVI 

Loque, O.F. a quarter-staff, R. 
Luchet, O.F. an iron pike, R. 
Luneta, Sp. rondel. 

Lunette, Fr. open sword-guard, late XVII cent. 


Maglia gazzarrina. It. see jazerant. 
Maglia piatta. It. see ringed mail. 
Mahenpanzer, Germ, see crinet. 
Maillet, Fr. a martel de fer, XIV cent. 

Main gauche, dagger used with the left hand when 

the right hand held the sword. 
Maleus, a falchion, F. 

Mamillieres, circular plates worn over the breast to 
hold chains to which the sword and dagger were 
attached, XIV cent. 

Mancina, It. see main gauche. 

Manetta, It. the trigger of a gun, also a spanner. 

Manezza diferro, an arming-gauntlet, F. 

Manicle, gauntlet. 

Manico, It. the grip of a sword. 

Manoglia, It. the handle of a small buckler. 

Manopla, Sp. 1 ^j^^^ 
Manople, It. / ^ 


Manteau ctarmes, a rigid cape-like shield fixed to 

the left breast and shoulder for tilting. 
Mantling, see lambrequin. 

Martel de fer, Fr. "> a war-hammer used by horse 

Martello d'arme. It. / and foot. 



r lozenge-shaped plates of metal, 
Muscled, mail, sometimes overlapping, sewn upon 
Macled, mall, a tunic of leather or quilted linen, 

. XI, XII cent. (Meyrick). 
Mass'ue, Fr. a mace or club. 

Matchlock, a firearm with touch-hole and fired with 

a match, early XV cent. 
Mattucashlass, a Scottish dagger carried under the 

Maule, a mace or club. 

Maximilian armour, a style of plate armour dis- 
tinguished by shallow vertical flutings, said to 
have been devised by the Emperor Maximilian I, 
XVI cent. 

Mazxa d'arme. It. war-mace. 

Mazzafrustro, It. see flail, also morning star. 

Meche soufree, a slow-match. 

Mell, see maule. 

Mentonlere, a piece used with the sallad to protect 

chin and breast. 
Merlette, O.F. a sergeant's staff, R. 
Merls, O.F. a javelin, R. 
Meiisel, Germ, see elbow-cop. 
Mezall, Fr. visor. 
Miccia, It. a gun-match. 
Mlgerat, O.F. a dart or arrow, R. 
Minion, 2l four-pounder, XVI cent. 
Mlserlcorde, short dagger used for the coup de grace, 
Mlssodor, O.F. a war horse, R. 
Mitten-gauntlet, -ygnvintlet in which the fingers are 
Mlttene, It. / not separate. 
Moresca, It. see taces. 

Morion, light helmet with crest and inverted 
crescent brim, latter end of XV cent. 

Morning star, a spike-studded ball hung by a 
chain from a short staff, XIV-XV cent. 

Mcrso, It. the horse's bit. 

Moschetto, It. see matchlock. 

Mostardo, a musket, F. 

Moton, plates to protect the armpits, especially the 
right, XIV cent. 

Moullnet, the windlass used for drawing the cross- 

Moyenne, see minion. 

Murlce, 3l caltrop, P. 
Musacchlno, see pauldrons. 

Muschetta,, It. projectiles used with the crossbow. 
Muserag, a missile weapon of some kind, F. 
Musollera, It. a horse-muzzle. 


Nackenschlrm, Germ, neck-plate at the back of an 

Nalde, anvil. 

Naltoules, some appliance for closing rivets. 

Nasal, a bar of steel fixed or movable on the front 
of the helmet to protect the nose, in more general 
use during XI cent., revived afterwards in XVII 

Nelghletts, the metal tags of the arming-points. 
Nowchys, embossed buckles and ornaments for 

armour, XV cent. 
Noyeau, the core of a gun. 


Oberarmzeng, Germ, rerebrace. 

Occularlum, the eye-slit in the helm. 

Orelllettes, ear-pieces, found in the later forms of 

the casque and burgonet. 
Orle, the wreath or twisted scarf worn on the 

helmet immediately beneath the crest. 
Orljlamme, the ancient banner of the Abbey of S. 

Denis used by the kings of France. 
Ospergum, see hauberk. 

Ottone, It. brass or latten, used for edging armour, 
etc., F. 

Paefustum, a battle-axe, XV cent. 

Palet, a small skull-cap of cuir-bouilly or steel. 

Palettes, circular plates to protect the armpits. . 

Panart, O.F., a large knife, R. 

Panache, Fr. the plume of feathers on the helmet. 

Pansier, Fr. the lower portion of the cuirass when 

it is formed of two pieces. 
Panzer, body-armour, XI-XIV cent. 
Panzlera, It. see codpiece. 

Parement, a surcoat or ceremonial dress of rich 

Parma, It. a small shield or buckler. 
p ^ - jj. /■ a long-shafted weapon with broad- 
^rtigiana, t. | pointed blade, in form allied to 
' I the pike and the halbert. 



Parilet^ O.E. gorget, F. 

Pas (Pane, Fr. loops of bar steel immediately over 

the cross-hilt of the sword. 
Pasguard, a reinforcing piece for the left elbow, 

used in tilting. 
Passe-garde, Fr. the French, following Meyrick, 

use this word -wrongly for neck-guards. 
Passadoux, a Gascon arrow, C. 
Passe, the rack for stringing the crossbow, 0. 
Passot, O.F. a dagger, R. 

Patekt, a padded vest worn under armour, XVI 

Patrel, see poitrel. 
Patron, a case for pistol cartridges. 
Patula, a short sword or dagger. 
Pauldrotis, shoulder-pieces of plate. 
Pavade, a long dagger. 
Pavache, Fr. 

Pavesche, a large shield used by 

Pavise, bowmen. 

Pavois d'assout, O.F. 

Pavon, a large triangular flag. 

Peascod, a form of breastplate made with a central 

ridge, and pointed slightly downward at the 

lower extremity, XVII cent. 
Pectoral, a breast defence of mail. See also 


Pel/, ) a sharpened stake used by the Norman 
Pill, j peasants. 

Pellegrina di maglia, It. mail cape or collar. 

Pennacchiera, It. ) , 
■Die > see porte-panache. 

renacho, op. | r r 

Pennon, a pointed banner used by knights 

bachelor and esquires. 

Pentina, O.I. a short pike, F. 

Pertuisan, Fr. partizan. 

Peto, Sp. breastplate. 

Petail matres, a large-headed dart or arrow, R. 
Petronel, a short firearm fired with a flint or pyrites 

(the common explanation that it was discharged 

held at the chest is erroneous). 
Pettiera, It. see peytral. 
Petto, It. breastplate. 
Peytral, the breastplate of a horse. 
Pezonaras, Sp. see bossoirs. 

Pfeife?ihartiisch, Germ, embossed armour to imitate 

puffed silk or velvet, XVI cent. 
Pheon, a barbed javelin used by the sergeant-at- 

Picca, It. see pike. 
Piciere, Fr. see peytral. 

Pieces of advantage, reinforcing pieces for the 

Pied de biche, Fr. see goat's-foot lever. 
Pied de chevre, a crowbar. 

Pike, a long-shafted weapon used by footmen only. 

It had a lance-like head, and was shod at the 

butt-end with iron for fixing in the ground to 

receive cavalry, XIV-XVIII cent. 
Pike-guard, a ridge of metal set upright on the 

pauldrons, on the left side, erroneously called 

Pile, the head of the arrow. 
Pistolese, a large dagger or knife, P. 
Pizane, Fr. breastplate. 

Placard, -i a reinforcing breastplate, XVI-XVII 
Placcate, f cent. 

Plater, the maker of armour plates as distinct from 
the armourer who made up the plates into 

Platner, Germ, armourer. 

Plastron, the upper portion of the cuirass when it is 

formed of two pieces. 
Plastron-de-fer, a defence of plate, usually circular 

worn on the breast under or over the hauberk. 
Plates, Pair of, back and breast plates, XIV-XV 


Platine, Fr. the lock of a firelock. 

Plomrriee, Fr. a leaden mace ; also holy-water 

Poignard, a dagger. 

Poinpn, the stamp or trade-mark of the armourer. 
Points, laces for securing the gussets of mail to the 

undergarment, and also the lambrequin to the 


Poire, Fr. a pear-shaped button through which the 

laces passed that held the shield to the left 

breast, XVI cent. 
Poitrel, breast-armour for a horse. 
Poldermitton, a defence for the inner bend of the 

right arm, used in the joust. 
Pole-axe, a long-shafted axe with beak and spear 


Poleynes, see knee-cops, XIII-XIV cent. 

Polion, some part of the crossbow. 

Pommel, the finishing knob of the sword-grip ; also 

the fore peak of the saddle. 
Pompes, see poleynes. 

Pontale, the chape of a sword or dagger ; also the 

tag on an arming-point or lance, F. 
Porte-panache, Fr. the plume-holder on the helmet. 
Posolino, It. see croupiere. 


Po/, a broad-brimmed helmet worn by pikemen, 
XVII cent. 

Poulaine, A la, sollerets with extremely pointed toes, 
XIV cent. 

Pourpoint, a. padded and quilted garment of leather 
or linen. 

Pourpointerie, quilted material with metal studs at 

the intersection of the quilting seams. 
Pryke-spur, a spur with a single point and no rowel. 

n ; > it. a small dagger. 

ruUy-pieces, "» , 
Putty-pieces, I P^^^y^^^' 
Pusafie, -x 

n { see pizane. 
Puzatie, J ^ 


Quadrelle, It. a small mace with leaf-like projections, 
also quarrel. 

Quarrel, the bolt or projectile used with the cross- 

Quetyll, O.E. a knife. 

Queue, a projecting hook on the back-piece of the 
cuirass to take the butt-end of the lance when 
held in rest. 

Quijotes, Sp. see cuisse. 

Quillions, the cross-hilt of the sword. 


Raillon, O.F. a kind of arrow, R. 

Rainoise, an unknown type of arquebus. 

Ranfort, the reinforce ring of a cannon. 

Ranseur, a large trident with sharpened blades set 
on a long shaft ; a species of partizan. 

Renmn, German jousting courses with sharp spear- 

Remihutschraube, Germ, see crete-echelle. 

Rerebrace, armour for the upper arm. 

Rest of advantage, some detail of armour forbidden 

in jousts of the XVI cent.; possibly some kind 

of lance-rest. 
Resta J ^ 

Restra de muelle^ Sp. J 

Ricasso, the squaring of the base of the sword- 
blade next above the quillons. 

Ringed wail, formed of flat rings sewn side by side 
on a tunic of leather or quilted linen, XI cent. 

Rivet, a suit of armour ; afterwards the small nails 
that hold it together. 

Rochet, the blunt lance-point for jousting. 

Rodele, O.F. a spur, R. 

Roelle, O.F. a buckler or small shield. 

Roncone, It. see gisarme. 

Rondache, a circular shield, XV-XVI cent. 

Rondel, \ circular plate protecting the armpit ; 

Rondelle, Fr. / also at the back of early armets. 

Rondel of the guard, possibly a vamplate. 

Ross-stirn, Germ, see chamfron. 

Rotellina da bracciale. It. rondel. 

Ruchenstiick, Germ, back-plate of the cuirass. 

Rusthaken, Germ, lance-rest. 

Rustred mail, see banded mail (Meyrick). 

Rustung, Germ, armour. 

Sabataynes, "» „ „ 

Q I . >O.E. see sollerets. 

o a bat on 5, J 

Sacheboute, O.F. a horseman's lance, R. 

Sagetta, a casque or helmet, F. 

Salade, \ helmet with wide brim at the back, worn 

Salett, \ with or without visor and mentoniere, 

Sallad, J XVI cent. 

Sautoir, O.F. stirrup. 

Sbalzo, It. see cesello. 

Scarpa a becco d'anatra. It. see bear-paw. 

Scarpa a punt a articolata. It. see poulaine. 

Scarpa a pie d'orso. It. see bear-paw. 

Scarsellone, It. see tasset. 

Schale, 1 

o 7 ; { Germ, sallad. 
bchaiern, ) 

Schamkapsel, Germ, see bravette. 
Scheitelstuck, Germ, skull of the helmet. 
Schembart, Germ, the lower part of the visor, the 

Scherikelschiene, Germ, see cuishe. 
Schiavona, It. a basket-hilted cut-and-thrust sword. 
Schiena, It. the back-plate of the cuirass. 
Schiessprugel, Germ, see holy-water sprinkle. 
Schiniere, It. see jambs. 
Schioppo, O.I. a dag or pistol, F. 
Schlaeger, Germ, student's fencing-sword. 
Schulterschild, Germ, see grand-guard. 
Schulterschild mit Rand, Germ, a pauldron with neck- 
guard attached. 
Schwanzel, \ Germ, the tail-guard of a 

Schivanzriempanzer, f horse. 
Schwebescheibe, Germ, see vamplate. 
Sciabola, It. sabre. 



Scudo, It. a triangular shield. 
Scure ctarme^ It. battle-axe. 
Seax^ a dagger. 

Secreta,^a. thin steel cap worn under the hat, 

Secrete, i XVI-XVII cent. 

SeUa d'arme, It. war-saddle. 

Semitargey O.F. a scimitar, R. 

Serpentina^ It. the cock of a matchlock. 

Setzschildy Germ, see pavise. 

Shaffron, see chamfron. 

Sharfrennen, Germ, variety of joust with sharp- 
pointed lances, XVI cent. 

Sharfrennentarsche, Germ, a shield-like reinforcing 
piece for the above joust. 

Shell-guardy a form of sword-guard. 

Sfondagiacoy It. see misericorde. 

SisarmeSf see gisarme. 

Slaughstuord, a two-hand sword carried by the 

whifHer, IV cent. 
Sliding rivet, a rivet fixed on the upper plate and 

moving in a slot on the lower plate. 
Snapbaunce, an early form of flint-lock in which 

the pan has to be uncovered before firing. 
Sockets, a thigh-defence similar to the German 

Soffione, It. a musket or caliver. 
Sollerets, shoes of laminated plate, usually pointed. 
Spada, It. sword. 
Spadone, It. a long sword. 
Spadroon, flat-bladed sword for cut-and-thrust. 
Spallacci, It. pauldrons. 
Spalliere, Fr. see pauldrons. 
Spasmo, O.It. a dart or javelin, F. 

Spight, a short or flight arrow. 

Spigo, O.It. the plume-holder of a helmet, P, 

Spli77t armour, narrow overlapping plates as opposed 

to armour made of large plates. 
Spright, a wooden arrow discharged from a gun. 
Springal, see espringale. 

Spontoon, a half-pike carried by officers, XVIII 

Squarcina, O.It. a short sword or cutlass, F. 
Staffa, It. stirrup. 

Statidard of mail, a collar of chain mail, XV cent. 
Stecca, It. the locket of a dagger. 
Steccata, It. the place of combat for duels. 
Stechhelm, Germ, heavy tilting-helm. 
Stechen, Germ, jousting course with coronal-tipped 


see ranseur. 

Stechtarsche, Germ, a ribbed tilting-shield used in 

the " gestech " courses. 
Stinchieri, O.It. armour for the shin, F. 
Stirnstulp, Germ, the upper part of the visor of an 

Stithe, O.K. anvil. 
Striscia, It. rapier. 
Sturmhaube, Germ, see burgonet. 
Sturmwand, Germ, see pavise. 
Supeters, O.E. see sollerets. 

Surcoat, a garment worn over the armour to protect 
it from sun and rain, and usually blazoned 

Sword-breaker, a short heavy sword with back edge 
toothed for breaking opponent's sword, XVI cent. 
Sivyn-feather, see feather-staff. 

Tabard, the armorially emblazoned coat worn by 

heralds ; see also surcoat. 
Taces, laminated plates at the lower edge of the 

Tache, O.E. strap. 
Talevas, Sp. shield. 

Tapul, the vertical ridge in the centre of some forms 

of breast-piece. 
Tarcaire, O.F. a quiver, R. 
Targe, a small circular shield. 
Torques, O.F. some kind of engine of war, R. 
Tartsche, Germ, a small shield or targe. 
Tartschen, Germ, see ailettes. 

Tassets, plates, usually lozenge-shaped, attached by 

strap and buckle to the taces to protect the 

upper or front surface of the thigh. 
Taurea, O.It. a buckler of bull's hide, F. 
Tegulated armour, overlapping tile-like square plates, 

end of XII cent. (Meyrick). 
Tertiare, to " third " the pike, i.e. to shorten either 

for shouldering or for receiving cavalry. 

Tesa, It. the shade or brim of the burgonet. 

Tester, O.E. ") , r 
_ . ' ^ \ see chanrron. 
Testtera, It. J 

Testiere, Fr. a metal skull-cap j also the chanfron of 

a horse. 
Tetriere, Fr. see tester. 

Thyrtel, ) knife or dagger. 
Thivyrtel, 5 

Tilt, the barrier used to separate knights when 
jousting, XI Vcent. and onwards ; first, a stretched 
cloth ; later, of wood. 


Timbre, Fr, the skull of a helmet. 
TiloleSy Arbalest a, Fr. windlass crossbow. 
^°SS^^> the cross-bar of a boar-spear. In modern use 
a button for joining two ends of a strap or thong. 
Toi/e, see tilt. 
To/ysy O.K. tools. 

Touch-box, probably a box for flint and steel carried 

by the musket, 

I a contest of many knights in the 

~ . lists as opposed to the joust or 

lournois, Fr. . , , . 

\ smgle combat at barriers. 

Tournkle cT eschaille, Fr. a small tunic or a large 
gorget composed of overlapping scale armour. 

Toyle, a contrivance fixed over the right cuisse to 
hold the lance when carried upright ; a lance 

Trubrico, Sp. blunderbuss. 

Traguardo, It. see visor. 

Trapper, horse-trappings of fabric or mail. 

Trellised armour, quilted linen or leather with 
leather bands sewn trelHs-wise and having studs 
of metal in the trellis openings (Meyrick). 

Tresses, plaited laces or arming-points. 

Trilobed scales, triple scales in one piece sewn upon 
the brigandine. 

Trombone, It. a heavy pistol, blunderbuss. 

Trousse, Fr. a quiver. 

Trumeliere, Fr. see jamb. 

Tuck, see estoc. 

Tuile, Fr. see tassets. 

Tuilette, Fr. small tassets as on tomb of Rich. 

Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. 
Turcasso, It. quiver. 

Turves, probably a turban or orle worn on the 


Umbo, the boss upon a shield. 

Umbril, the shade or brim of head-pieces of XVII 

Uncin, war pickaxe. 

Uncim, O.It. a broad-pointed arrow, a hook, P. 
Unterarmzeug, Germ, vambrace. 
Usbergo, O.It. breastplate, vamplate, F. 


Vambrace, the plate defence for the fore-arm. 
Vamplate, a circular shield through which the tilting 
and war lances were fixed above the grip. 

the lower part of the visor when it is 
made in two parts. 

that part of the helmet, movable or fixed, 
which protects the eyes. 

Vedoil, a weapon used by foot-soldiers, possibly a 

Velette, O.It. a horse-soldier's coat, F. 

Venetian sallad, a sallad of the XV-XVI cent. ; 
formed like the ancient Greek helmet with fixed 
visor, but evolved from the bascinet. 


Vent ail, Fr. 

Ventalle, Sp. 

Vervelles, the staples on the bascinet to which the 

carvail was laced. 
Vireton, an arrow for the crossbow with curving 

wings, to produce a spinning motion. 
Visera, It. 
Vista, Sp., 

Volant-piece, reinforcing piece for the tilt to protect 
the breast and lower half of the face ; possibly a 
spring breastplate. 

Volet, the round disc at the back of the armet. 

Volet, Fr. an arrow or dart. 

Vor-artn, Germ, see vambrace. 

Vorderfluge, Germ, the front plate of the pauldron. 

Vorhelm, Germ, see placcate. 

Voulge, a weapon somewhat similar to the Lochaber 

axe ; used mostly by the peasants. 
Voyders, see gussets. 

Voyding knife, a knife for disembowelling deer. 


, y see gussets. 


Wafter, English dummy blade for fencing, XVI 

Wambais, see gambeson. 

Wappen rock. Germ, a cloak decorated heraldically. 
Welsches gestech, German name for the Italian 

course of jousting over the tilt or barrier with 

blunted lance. 
JVhiffler, a two-hand swordsman who cleared the 

way in processions. 
Wifle, a practice-sword, possibly a two-hander. 
Winbrede, \ 

Wire hat, see coif. 

Zucchetto, It. a species of burgonet, XVII cent. 
Xiueyhander, Germ, two-handed sword. 



LONDON, 1322 

This is a regulation that no armourer should attempt to sell Bascuettes (Bascinets) 
covered with fabric, but should show them uncovered, so that the workmanship 
might be seen and approved. 

Lib. C, fol. 33, 15 Edw. II, 1322 

Edward ye Second 

Be it remembered that in ye hustinge of comon plaes holden ye Mondaie in 
ye feaste of ye conversion of Saint Paule, ye yere of ye reigne of our Lord ye king 
Edward, ye son of king Edward, xv th., in ye presence of Sir Hamen de Chigewelle 
then Maior, Nicholas de farringdon and by assent of Hugh de Auggeye, &c. Ar- 
morers. It is was ordeyned for ye comon proffyt and assented that from henceforth 
all Armor made in ye Cytie to sell be good and convenable after ye forme that hence- 
forth That is to saie that an Akton and Gambezon covered with sendall or of cloth 
of Silke be stuffed with new clothe of cotten and of cadar and of oldn sendal and 
not otherwise. And that ye wyite acketonnes be stuffed of olde lynnen and of cot- 
tone and of new clothe wth in and wth out. Also forasmuch as men have founde 
old bascuette broken and false now newly covered by men that nothing understand 
of ye mystery wh be putt in pryvie places and borne out into ye contrye out of ye 
said Cytie, to sell and in ye same citie of wh men may not gaine knowledge whether 
they be good or ill, of ye wh thinge greate yill might fall to ye king and his people, 
and a greate slaunder to ye Armorers aforesaid and to all ye Cytie. It is ordeyned 
and assented that no Farrar ne other man that maketh ye Irons of bascuette hereafter 
so to be covered no bascuett by himself to sell be free but that he shall sell out of his 
hande will open and ungarnished as men have used before this tyme. And ye which 
shall abide ungarnished until they be sene by the myor that shall be sworn or by ny 
of Cz'ens whether they be convenable to garnishe or no. And there be found in any 
Court of Armorers or else where in wch Court is Armor for to sell, whatsoever it 
be, that is not proffytable or otherwise than is ordeyned and none be it taken and 
brought before ye Maior and Aldermen and hys Czens to be demed good or ill after 
their discretion. And for the wch thing well and lawfully to be kept and surveyed 
Roger Savage Willm, De Langgull, Richard Johonnez (John Conny) being sworne. 
And if they myor may not attend that ij of them Do that longeth thereto. 

Fol. 135, ffirst it is a general Article ordeyned for all ye crafte of London and 
centred in ye Chamber of ye Guildhall of ye said City in ye booke wth ye letter 
22 169 


C in ye xxxv leaffe in ye tyme of Adam Bury Maior, in ye yere of ye reigne of 
king Ed. ye thirde after ye conquest. 

Lib. V. xd. It is ordeyned that all ye crafte of ye citie of London be truely ruled 
and governed every person in his nature in due maner so that no falsehood ne false 
w^orkemanshipp nor Deceipt be founde in no maner wise in any of ye foresaid crafte 
for ye worshipp of ye good folke of all ye same crafte and for the comon proffytt 
of ye people. 


City of London Letter Book F, fol. cxlii 

The Points of the Articles touching the trade of Helmetry accepted by Geffrey de 
Wychingham, Mayor, and the Aldermen at the suit and request of the folks 
of the said trade : — 

In the first place that no one of the said trade shall follow or keep seld of the 
trade aforesaid within the franchise of the City of London until he shall have 
properly bought his freedom, according to the usages of the said City, on pain of 
losing his wares. 

Also forasmuch as heretofore some persons coming in who are strangers have 
intermeddled and still do intermeddle in the making of helmetry, whereas they do 
not know the trade, by reason whereof many great men and others of the realm have 
been slain through their default, to the great scandal of the said trade : It is ordained 
that no person shall from henceforth intermeddle with or work at helmetry if he be 
not proved to be a good, proper, and sufficient workman by the Wardens of the said 
trade on pain of forfeiture to the use of the Chamber. 

Also that three or four if need be of the best workmen of the said trade shall 
be chosen and sworn to rule the trade well and properly as is befitting for security 
and safety of the great men and others of the realm, and for the honour and profit 
of the said City and of the workers of the said trade. 

Also that no apprentice shall be received by any master of the said trade for 
less than seven years ; and that without collusion or fraud on paying to the said 
Chamber 100 shillings. 

Also that no one of the said trade or other person of the Franchise shall set 
any stranger to work who is of the said trade if he be not a proper and lawful person, 
and one for whom the master will answer as to his good behaviour, on pain of paying 
to the said Chamber 20 shillings. 

Also that no apprentice of the said trade who shall be indebted to his master 
in any sum of money at the end of his term shall serve henceforth any other person 
than his own master, nor shall he depart from such service or be into the service of 
another person in any way received until he shall have fully given satisfaction for his 
debt to his master. And he who shall receive in any other manner the servant or 
apprentice of another person shall pay to the said Chamber 20 shillings. 

Also that helmetry and other arms forged by the hammer which are brought 
from the parts without this land beyond the seas, or from any other place unto the 
said City for sale, shall not from henceforth be in any way offered for sale privily 



or openly until they have been properly assayed by the aforesaid Wardens and 
marked with their mark, on pain of forfeiting such helmetry and arms to the said 
Chamber as shall be so offered for sale. 

Also that each one of the makers aforesaid shall have his own mark and sign, and 
that no one of them shall counterfeit the sign or mark of another on pain of losing 
his freedom until he shall have bought the same back again and made satisfaction to 
him whose sign he shall have so counterfeited, and further he shall pay to the 
Chamber 40 shillings. 

Wardens of the same trade chosen and sworn, 

Robert de Shirwode, 

Richard Bridde, 

Thomas Canoun. 



HENRY VI, 1434 

Bod. Lib., Ashmole. MS. 856, art. 22, pp. 376-83 

[376] Too my leve Lordes here nowe next folowinge is a Traytese compyled 
by Johan Hyll Armorier Sergeant in the office of Armory wt. Kinges Henry ye 4th 
and Henry ye 5th of ye poyntes of Worship in Armes and how he shall be diversely 
Armed & gouverned under supportacion of faveurof alle ye Needes to coverte adde 
& amenuse where nede is by the high comandement of the Princes that have powair 
so for to ordeyne & establishe 

The first Honneur in Armes is a Gentilman to fight in his Souverain Lords 
quarell in a bataille of Treason sworne withinne Listes before his souverain Lorde 
whether he be Appellant or Defendant ye honneur is his that winneth ye feelde. 

As for the appellant thus Armed by his owne witte or by his counsaille wch is 
assigned to him before Conestable & Marchall ye wch Counsaille is ordeyned & 
bounden to teche hym alle maner of fightynge & soteltees of Armes that longeth 
for a battaile sworne 

First hym nedeth to have a paire of hosen of corde wtoute vampeys And the 
saide hosen kutte at ye knees and lyned wtin wt Lynnen cloth byesse as the hose is 
A payre of shoen of red Lether thynne laced & fretted underneth wt whippecorde 
& persed, And above withinne Lyned wt Lynnen cloth three fyngers in brede 
double & byesse from the too an yncle above ye wriste. And so behinde at ye hele 
from the Boole halfe a quarter of a yearde uppe this is to fasten wele to his Sabatons 
And the same Sabatons fastened under ye soole of ye fote in 2 places hym nedeth also 
a petycote of an overbody of a doublett, his petycote wt oute sieves, ye syses of him 
3 quarters aboute wt outen coler. And that other part noo ferther thanne [377] 
ye waste wt streyte sieves and coler and cutaine oylettes in ye sieves for ye vaunt 
bras and ye Rerebrase 

Armed in this wise First behoveth Sabatouns grevis & cloos quysseux wt 
voydours of plate or of mayle & a cloos breche of mayle wt 5 bokles of stele ye 
tisseux of fyne lether. And all ye armyng poyntes after they ben knytte & fastened 
on hym armed that ye poyntes of him be kutte of 

And thanne a paire of cloos gussetts strong sclave not drawes and thatye gussets 
be thre fingers withinne his plates at both assises And thanne a paire of plattes at 
XX li lib weight his breste & his plats enarmed to wt wyre or wt poyntes. 



A pair of Rerebraces shitten withinne the plates before wt twi forlockes and behinde 
wt thre forlocks. A paire of vaunt bras cloos wt voydours of mayle & fretted. A 
pair of gloves of avantage wche may be devised. A basnet of avauntage for ye 
listes whiche is not goode for noon other battailles but man for man save that 
necessitie hath noo lawe, the basnet locked haver & vysour locked or charnelled also 
to ye brest & behynde wt two forlockes. And this Gentilman appellent aforesaide 
whanne he is thus armed & redy to come to ye felde do on hym a cote of armes of 
sengle tarten ye beter for avauntage in fighting. And his leg barneys covered alle 
wt reed taritryn the wche ben called tunictes for he coverynge of his leg barneys is 
doen because his adversarie shal not lightly espye his blode. And therefore also hen 
his hosen reed for in alle other colours blode wol lightly be seyne, for by the oolde 
tyme in such a bataile there shulde noo thing have be seyn here save his basnett & his 
gloves. And thanne tye on hym a payre of besagewes. Also it fitteth the [378] 
foresaide counsaille to goo to ye kyng the daye before ye bataille & aske his logging 
nigh ye listes. Also ye foresaide Counsaille must ordeyne hym the masses ye first 
masse of ye Trinitie ye seconde of ye Holy Goste & ye thirde of owre Ladye or elles 
of what other sainte or saintes that he hath devocion unto 

And that he be watched alle that night hym that he is watched and 

light in his Chambre alle that night that his counsaille may wite how that he 
slepeth. And in ye mornyng whanne he goeth to his Masses that his herneys be 
leyed at ye North end of ye Auter and covered wt a cloth that ye gospell may be redde 
over it and at ye laste masse for to be blessed wt ye preist and whanne he hath herde 
his Masses thanne to goo to his dyner. And soo to his Armyng in ye forme aforesaide. 
And whanne he is armed and alle redy thanne to come to ye feelde in forme to fore 
rehersed, thanne his counsaille bounden to counsaille hym & to teche hym how 

he shal gouverne hym of his requests to ye kyng or he come into ye feelde and his 
entrie into ye felde and his gouvernance in the feelde for ye saide Counsaille hath charge 
of hym before Constable and Mareschal til that Lesses les aller be cryed. The whiche 
requestes ben thus that ye saide Appellant sende oon his counsaille to the kyng for to 
requeste hym that whanne he cometh to ye barrers to have free entrie wt his counsaille 
Confessour & Armorers wt alle maner of Instruments wt breede & wyne hymself bring- 
ing in in an Instrument that is to saye a cofre or a pair of bouges. Also their fyre cole 
& belyes and that his chayre wt [379] certaine of his Servants may be brought into 
ye feelde and sette up there the houre of his comyng that it may cover hym and his 
counsaille whanne he is comen into ye feelde this forsaide gentilman Appellant comyng 
to ye Listes whether he wol on horsebak or on fote wt his counsaille Confessour & 
other Servaunts aforesaide havyng borne be fore hym by his counsaille a spere a long 
swerde a short swerde & a dagger fastined upon hymself his swerdes fretted and 
beasagewed afore ye hikes havyng noo maner of poyntes for and ther be founden that 
day on hym noo poyntes of wepons thanne foirre, it shall tourne hym to gret reproof. 
And this gentilman appellant that come to ye barrers at ye Southeest sone, his visier 
doune And he shal aske entrie where shal mete hym Constable and Mareschal and 
aske hym what art thou. And he shal saye I am suche a man & telle his name to 
make goode this day by ye grace of God that 1 have saide of suche a man and tell 
hys name bifore my Souain Lord and they shal bidde hym putte up his visier and 



whanne he hath put up his visier they shal open the barrers and lette hym inne and 
his counsaille before hym & wt hym his Armorers & his servaunts shal goo streight 
to his chayer wt his breed his wyne & alle his instruments that longe unto hym save 
his weppons. And whanne he entreth into the felde that he blesse hym soberly and 
so twys or he come to before his Souverain Lord And his Counsailles shall do thair 
obeisaunce before thair souverain Lord twys or they come to the degrees of his 
scaffolde and he to obeye him wt his heed at both tymes Then whanne they to fore 
thair souverain Lord they shal knele a downe and he also they shal aryse or he aryse 
he shal obeye hym at his heed to his souverain Lord and then aryse and whanne he 
is up on his feete he shal blesse hym and turne hym to his chayre and at the entryng 
of his chayr [380] soberly tourne hym his visage to his souverain Lord wards and 
blesse hym and thanne tourne hym againe and soo go into his chayre and there he 
maye sitte hym downe and take of his gloves and his basnet and so refresh hym till 
the houre of hys Adversarie approche wt breed and wyne or wt any other thing that 
he hath brought in wt hym. And whanne the Defendaunt his Adversarie cometh 
in to the feelde that he be redy armed againe or that he come into the feelde standing 
withoute his chayre taking hede of his Adversaries comyng in and of his countenance 
that he may take comfort of. And whanne the defendant his Adversarie is come int 
ye felde and is in his chayre thanne shal the kyng send for his wepons and se him 
and the Conestable and the Marschal also and if they be leefull they shal be kept in 
the feelde & kutte the same day by ye comaundement of the kyng and the Conestable 
and Mareschal in ye kynge's behalve. And thanne fitteth to the foresaide counsaille 
to arme hym and to make hym redy against that he be called to his first 00th and 
whanne he is called to his first oothe thanne fitteth it to alle his counsaille to goo wt 
hym to his first 00th for to here what the Conestable and Mareschal seyen unto hym 
and what contenaunce he maketh in his sweryng And whanne he hath sworne they 
shl ryse up by ye comaundement of the Conestable and Mareschal. And whanne he 
is on his feete he shal obey hym to his Souverain Lord and blesse hym and thanne 
turne hym to his chayre his visage to his souveraine Lord wards and in his goinge blesse 
hym twys by ye weye or he come to his chayre. And at ye [38 1] entryng to his chayre 
soberly tourne hym his visage to his Souverain Lord wards and blesse hym and soo go 
into his chayre. Thanne fitteth it to his fore saide Counsaille to awayte where the 
defendaunt shal come to his first ooth and that they be ther as sone as he for to here 
how he swereth for he must nedes swere that al that ever th appellant hath sworne is 
false substance and alle. And if he wol not swere that every worde & every sillable 
of every worde substance and alle is false the Counsaille of ye saide appellant may right 
wisly aske jugement by lawe of Civile and raison of Armes forafter ye juge is sette 
there shulde noo plee be made afore hym that daye. 

And if so be that the Defendant swere duly thanne ye Counsaille of the foresaide 
Appellant shal goo to his chayre agayne and abide ther til they be sent for. And 
thanne shal they bringe hym to hys second Ooth and here how he swereth and 
whanne he hath sworne they shal goo wt hym to hys chayre againe in the forme 
aforesaide. And whanne he is in his chayre the saide Counsaille shal awayte whanne 
ye Defendaunt cometh to his seconde ooth and here how he swereth and if he swere 
under any subtil teerme cantel or cavellacion the foresaide Counsaille of th appellant 


may require the jugement. And if he swere duely thanne shal ye Counsaille of ye 
foresaide Appellant goo to his chayre againe and abide there til they be sent for. 
And thanne shal they brynge hym to his thirde ooth and assuraunce. And whanne 
they be sworne and assured the saide appellant wt his Counsaile shal goo againe to 
his chayre in the fourme afore saide and there make [382] hym redy and fastene 
upon hym his wepons and so refresche hym til ye Conestable and Mareschal bid hym 
come to ye feeld. Thanne shal his Armorers and his Servaunts voyde the Listes wt 
his chayre and alle his Instruments at ye Comandement of ye Conestable and Mare- 
schal. Thanne fitteth it to the Counsaille of the saide Appellant to ask a place of 
ye kyng afore hym withinne the barres upon his right hande that ye saide Counsaille 
of th appellant may come and stande there whanne they be discharged of ye saide 

The cause is this that suche pyte may be given to ye kyng if God that noon of 
hem shal dye that daye for he may by his prowaie royal in such a cas take it into 
his hande the foresaide Counsaille of the Appellant to abyde in the saide place til the 
kyng have geven his jugement upon him — And thanne ye Conestable and Mareschal 
shal deliwer the foresaide Appellant by ye Comandement of the kyng to his foresaide 
Counsaille to govern hym of his going out of ye feelde as wele as they did of his 
comyng in his worship to be saved in al that lyeth en hem. And soo to bryng hym 
to his Logging agayne to unarme hym comforte hym and counsaille hym And 
some of his Counsaille may goo to the kyng and comon wt hym and wite of the 
kyng how he shal be demeaned. This enarmyng here aforesaide is best for a battaille 
of arreste wt a sworde a dagger an Ax and a pavys til he come to th asseblee his 
sabatons & his tunycle evoyded And thanne the Auctor Johan Hyll dyed at London 
in Novembre the xiii th yere of kyng Henry the Sixt so that he accomplished noo 
mor of ye compylyng of this [383] trayties on whose soulle God have mercy for his 
endles passion Amen. 


Bib. Nat., Paris (fonds Frangais, 1997) 
Given in full in Du Costume Militaire des Frajifais en 14.4.6^ Rene de Belleval, 1 866 

Mais quant a la faczon de leur harnoys de joufte, fuis content de le vous declairer 
plus largement, affin que pour lavenir ceulx qui voudront joufter y preignent exemple, 
foit de y adjoufter ou de y ofter, comme mieulx verront et congnoifteront y eftre 

Et tout premierement vueil commancer au harnoys de tefte, ceft aflavoir au 
heaume, lequel eft fait en cefte faczon, comme cy apres me orrez declairer ; et 
premierement lefdiz heaumes font, fur le fommet de la tefte jufques a la veue, fors et 
efpes et ung pou fur le rondelet, par faczon que la tefte ne touche point encontre, 
ain^ois y peut avoir efpace de troiz doiz entre deux. 

Item, de delfobz de la veue du heaume, qui arme par davant tout le vifaige depuis 
lesdeux aureilles jufques a la poitrine et endroit les yeulx qui s'appelle la veue, avance 
et boute avant troiz bons doiz ou plus que n'eft le bort de deffus ; entre lequel bort 
de deffus et celuy de delfobz ny a bonnement defpace que ung bon doy et demy pour 
y povoir veoir, et n'eft ladifte veue, tant dun coufte que dautre, fendue que environ 
dun efpan de long, mais voulentiers vers le coufte feneftre eft ladidte veue plus cloufe 
et le bort plus en bouty dehors que n'eft de lautre cofte droi6t. 

Item, et ledit deffobz ladid:e veue marche voluntiers fur la piece de delfus la tefte 
deux bons doiz, tant dun coufte que dautre de la veue, et clone de fors clox qui ont 
les uns la tefte enbotie, et les autres ont la tefte du clou limee affin que le rochet ny 

Item, la piece delfufditte qui arme le vifaige eft voluntiers large et deftendant 
prefque dune venue jufques a la gorge, ou plus has, affin quelle ne foit pas ft pres des 
vifaiges quant les cops de lance y prennent. Ain9ois qui le veult faire a point fault 
quil y ait quatre doiz defpace du moins entre deux. Et a cefte di(5te piece, du cofte 
droi(5t de la lance, endroit la joue, deux ou trois petites veues qui viennent du long 
depuis le hault de la joue jufques au collet du pourpoint, affin que I'en nait schault 
dedens le heaulme, et aufli affin que on puiffe mieulx ouir ou veoir celuy qui le fert 
de la lance. 

Item, I'autre piece dudit heaume arme depuis les aureilles par darriere le long 
du coul jufques trois doiz fur les efpaulles par bas, et par hault, auffi jufques a trois 
doiz fur la nuque du coul, Et vient faczonnee une arrefte aval qui vient en eftroiffiftant 
fur le collet du pourpoint, et fe relargift fur les efpaulles en deux ; laquelle piece 
deffufdifte neft jamais faifte forte ne efpeffe, ain9ois la plus legiere que on la peult 
23 177 


faire eft la meilleure ; et pour conclufion faire ces trois pieces defTufdiftes font le 
heaulme entier. 

Item, quant a larmeure du corps, il y en a de deux faczons ; ceft affavoir : la 
premiere comme curaffe a armer faufve que le voulant eft clox et arrefte a la piece, 
par faczon que le voulant ne pent aller ne jouer hault ne bas. 

Item, lautre faczon eft de brigandines ou aultrement dit curraffines, couvertez et 
clouees par pieces petittes depuis la poitrine en a bas, ne ny a aultre differance de 
celle cy aux brigandines que on porte en la guerre, finon que tout ce que contient la 
poitrine jufques aux faulx eft dune feulle piece et fe lace du cofte de la main droite 
ou par darriere du long de lefchine. Item, larreft eft efpes, grox et materiel au plailir 
de celui qui le fait faire. 

Item, oudit harnoys de corps y a principallement deux boucles doubles, ou une 
boucle double et ung aneau lime, ou meilleu de la poitrine, plus hault quatre doiz 
que le faulx du corps, et lautre du coufte feneftre longues ; de lautre ung pou plus 
haulte : lefquelles deux boucles ou aneau font pour atacher ledit heaume a la curaffe 
ou brigandine ; ceft affavoir : la premiere fert pour metre une treffe ou corroye oudit 
heaulme a une autre pareille boucle comme celle la, qui eft oudit heaume clouee fur 
la pate dudit heaume davant le plus a lendroit du meillieu du travers que len peult, 
et ont voulentiers lefdidtes treffes et couvertures de cueur trois doubles lun fur lautre; 
lautre feconde boucle ou aneau a main feneftre refpont pareillement a une aultre 
boucle ou aneau qui eft oudit heaulme a la feneftre partie sur la pate dudit heaulme ; 
et ces deux boucles ou aneaux feneftres fervent efpeciallement pour la buffe, ceft affa- 
voir que quand le rochet atache [a touche) fur le hault de lefcuczon ou heaume, cefte 
treffe ou courroye deflufdifte garde que le heaulme ne fe joigne a la joe feneftre par 
la faczon que ledit joufteur en puiffe eftre depis. 

Item, en ladi6te brigandine ou curaffe y a en la feneftre partie en la poitrine, 
pres du bort du braz feneftre, a ung doy pres endroit le tour du braz hault, troiz doiz 
plus bas que la boucle de quoy on laffe ladifte brigandine fur lefpaulle, ung crampon 
de fer du gros dun doy en ront, dont les deux chefz font rivez par dedens et ladifte 
piece au mieulx quil fe puet faire, et dedens dudit crampon fe paffe deux ou trois 
tours une groffe treffe bonne et forte qui depuis paffe parmy la poire, laquelle poire 
eft aflife et cache ledit crampon ; de laquelle poire la haulteur eft vouluntiers dun 
bon doy, fur laquelle lefcu repofe, et eft atache par lefdits pertuys dudit efcu de la 
treffe qui eft atachee audit crampon, laquelle fort par le meilleu de ladidte poire. 

Item, en ladifte curaffe y a darriere, ou meilleu du creux de lefpaulles, une 
boucle ou aneau qui fert pour atacher une treffe ou courroie a une autre boucle du 
heaulme darriere, fi que le heaulme ne chee davant, et afEn aufli que la veue foit de 
la haulteur et demeure ferme que le joufteur la vieult. 

Item, oultre plus en ladi6te curaffe y a ung petit aneau plus bas que nul des 
aultres, aflis plus vers le faillement des couftez a la main feneftre, auquel len atache 
dune aultre legiere treffe la main de fer, laquelle main de fer eft tout dune piece et 
arme la main et le braz jufques troiz ou quatre doiz oultre le code. 

Item, depuis le code jufques au hault, cache {cachant) tout le tour de lefpaulle 
y a ung petit garde braz dune piece, et fe defcent jufques fur le code quatre doiz. 



Item, a la main droite y a ung petit gantellet lequel fe appelle gaignepain ; et 
depuis le gantellet jufques oultre le code, en lieu de avant braz, y a une armeure qui 
fe appelle efpaulle de mouton, laquelle eft faczonnee large endroit le code, et fe 
efpanouift aval, et endroit la ploieure du braz fe revient ploier par faczon que, quant 
len a mis la lance en larreft, laditte ploieure de laditte efpaulle de mouton couvre 
depuis la ploieure du braz ung bon doy en hault. 

Item, pour armeure de lefpaulle droite y a ung petit garde braz fait a lames, fur 
lequel y a une rondelle joignant une place, laquelle rondelle fe haulfe et fe belTe quant 
on vieult metre la lance en larreft, et fe revient recheoir fur la lance quant elle eft 
oudit arreft, par telle faczon quelle couvre ce que eft defarme en hault dentre la 
lance et ledit garde braz. 

Item, auffi oudit royaulme de France fe arment de harnoys de jambes quant ilz 

Item, quant a la faczon des eftacheures dudit harnoys par bas, Ci que il ne four- 
monte point encontremont par force des copz, je men palTe a le declairer pour le 
prefent, car il y en a plufeurs faczons. Ne auffi daultre part ne me femble pas fi quil 
fe doye divulguer fi publicquement. 

Item, quant eft des lances, les plus convenables raifons de longueur entre grappe 
et rochet, et aulTy celles de quoy on ufe plus communuement eft de treze piez ou de 
treze piez et demy de long. 

Item, et lefdiz rochez font vouluntiers de ouverture entre chafcune des trois 
pointes de deux doiz et demy ou trois au plus. 

Item, lefdiftes grappes font voulentiers plaines de petittes pointes agues {aigues) 
comme petiz dyamens, de groffeur comme petittes nouzilles, lefquelles pointes fe 
viennent arrefter dedens le creux de larreft, lequel creux de larreft plain de bois ou 
de plomb affin que lefdittes pointes ne puiffent fouir, par quoy vient ladi<5te lance a 
tenir le cop : en faczon quil fault que elle fe rompe en pieces, que len affigne bien 
ou que le joufteur ploye lefchine fi fort que bien le fente. 

Item, les rondes deffufdiftes lances ne couvrent tout autour au plus aller que ung 
demy pie, et font vouluntiers de trois doiz defpes de bourre feutree entre deux cuirs, 
du coufte devers la main par dedens. 

Et oultre plus pour faire fin a la maniere que len fe arme en fait de jouxtes ou 
pais et contree que jay cy defous declaie, ne diray aultre chofe pour le prefent, finon 
que ung bon ferviteur dun joufteur doit regarder principallement trois chofes fur fon 
maiftre avant quil luy donne fa lance ; ceft afiavoir que ledit joufteur ne foit defarme 
de nulles de fes armeures par le cop precedent ; laultre fi eft que ledit joufteur ne 
foit point eftourdy ou mehaigne pareillement par ledit cops precedent quil aura eu ; 
le tiers fi eft que ledit ferviteur doit bien regarder fil y a autre preft fur les rengs qui 
ait fa lance fur faulte, et preft pour joufter centre fondit maiftre, afiin que fondit 
maiftre ne tienne trop longuement fans faire courfe la lance en larreft, ou quil ne face 
fa courfe en vain et fans que autre vienne a lencontre de luy. 



1. Quiconque vouldra estre armurier ou brigandinier, fourbisseur et garnisseur 
d'espees et de harnois . , . faire le pourra. . . . 

2. It. les quels maistres desd. mestiers seront tenus besoigner et faire ouvrage de 
bonnes etofFes, c'est assavoir pour tant que touche les armuriers, ils feront harnois 
blancs pour hommes d'armes de toute epreuve qui est a dire d'arbalestes a tilloles et 
a coursel a tout le moins demie espreuve, qui est a entendre d'arbaleste a crocq et 
traict e'archiers, et pour tant que touche les brigandiniers ils seront tenus pareille- 
ment faire brigandines, c'est assavoir les plus pesantes de 26 a 27 livres poix de marc 
tout au plus, tenant espreuve d'arbaleste a tillolles et marquees de 2 marques, et les 
moindres de 18 a 20 livres, tel poix que dessusu et d'espreuve d'arbaleste a crocq et 
traict d'archier, marquees d'une marque. Et seront icelles brigandines d'assier, 
trampees partout et aussi toutes garnies de cuir entre les lames et la toile, c'est assa- 
voir en chacune rencontre de lames, et ne pourront faire lesd. brigandines de moindre 
poix de lame. . . . 

3. It. et fauldra qe lesd. lames soient limees tout a I'entour a ce que tes ettoffes 
durent plus largement. . . . 

10. Que las marchans et ouvriers desd. mestiers, tant faiseurs d'espees, baches, 
guysarmes, voulges, dagues et autres habillemens de guerre, seront tenus de faire tout 
ouvrage bon, loyal, et marchant. 

11. It. que tous fourbisseurs et garnisseurs d'espees, tant vielles que neuves, 
seront tenus de faire fourraux de cuirs de vache et de veau, et les jointures de cuir 
de vache, la poignee d'icelles nouee de fouer [fouet ?] et se aucunes poignees sont 
faictes de cuir, icelles poignees seront garnies de fisselles par dessouez, led. cuir. 

12. Et pareillement les atelles des fourreaux seront neufvs et de bois de fouteau 
sec. . . . 

18. It. que nuls marchans ne maistres forains ne pourront tenir ouvrouers ne 
boutiques de harnois, brigandines, javelines, lances, picques ne espees, ne choses dep- 
pendantes desd. mestiers en ceste ville s'ils ne sont maistres en cette ville. 

Ordonn. des rois, T. XX, p. 156, etc. 




1375. Conegude cause sie que Guitard de Junquyeres, armurer de Bordeu, 
Lambert Braque, d'Alemaine, armurer de cotes de fer, reconegon e autreyan e en 
vertat confessan aver pres e recebut de la man de Moss, de Foxis 100 florins d'aur 
d'Aragon, per los quans lo prometan e s'obligan aver portat a Morlaas 60 bacinetz 
ab capmalh e 60 cotes de fer o plus si plus poden, boos e sufficientz. 

Arch, des B. Pyrenees, 302, fol. 129. 



1490. Sachent tous , . . que cum le temps passe de 6 ans ou environ Estienne 
Daussone, Ambroye de Caron, Karoles et Glaudin Bellon natifs du pays de Mylan 
en Lombardie et Pierre de Sonnay natif de la duche de Savoye, les quels ce fussent 
associes, acompaignes et adjustez entre eulx Tun avecques I'autre, de faire leur resi- 
dence pesonnelle et continuelle a ouvrer et trafiquer du mestier de armurerie et pour 
I'espace de 20 ans ou environ. . . . 

Mw. dec. not. Frapier, Arch, de la Gironde, Rev. d' Aquitaine, XII, 26. 



Brit. Mus., Cotton., Appendix XXVIII, f. 76 


The charges of the king's own armoury accounting the Master of the Armourie's 
fee, the Clerk & Yeoman's wages and 5 armourers for his Highness' own person with 
I Gilder 2 Lockyers, i Millman and a prentice, in the year. 

In primis the Master of the Armouries fee by the year 

and is paid by the Customer of Cichister's hands , 
Item the Clerk and Yeoman both, for their wages 22/- 

the month apiece and is paid by the Treasurer of the 

Chamber by the year ...... 

Item Erasmus the chief Armourer hath for his wages 

by the month 26/8 and is paid by the said Treasurer 
Item Old Martyn hath 38/10 the month which is by the 

year ......... 

Item Mathew Dethyke hath 24/- the month which is 

by the year ....... 

Item Hans Clinkedag hath 24/- the month which is by 

the year ........ 

Item Jasper Kemp hath 24/- the month which is by 

the year ........ 

Item the Gilders wages by the year .... 

Item the 2 Lockyers have 20/- a month apiece which 

is by the year ....... 

Item I Millman 24/- a month which is by the year . 
Item for the prentice 6d. for the day .... 

Item for 8 bundles of steel to the said armoury for the 

whole year 38/- the bundle ..... 
Item for the costs of the house at o o the month 

which is by the year ...... 










c. U. 

iii viii 

















In primis the wages of 12 armourers, 2 locksmiths and 
4 prentices to be divided into two shops, every of 
the Armourers their wages at 24/- the month and 
the Locksmiths at 20/- a month and every prentice 
6d. the day amounteth by the year to . 

Item the wages of 2 millmen at 24/- the month . 

Item to every of the said shops 4 loads of charcoal a 
month at 9/- the load ..... 

Item for 16 bundles of steel to serve both shops a whole 
year at 38/- the bundle ..... 

Item I hide of buff leather every month for both shops 
at 10/- the hide ...... 

Item for both shops i cowhide a month at 6/8 the hide 

Item one 100 of iron every month for both shops at 
6/8 the 100 

Item in wispe steel for both shops every month 15 4I 
at 4d. the lb. . . . .... 

Item in wire monthly to both shops 1 2 lb. at 4d. lb. . 

Item in nails & buckles for both shops monthly 5/- 

Item to every of the said Armourers Locksmiths & 
Millmen for their liveries 4 yards broad cloth at 5/- 
the yard and 3 yards of carsey at 2/- the yard which 
amounteth in the year for 12 armourers 2 Lock- 
smiths and 2 Millmen at 26/- for a man 

So that these 12 armourers 2 Locksmiths 2 Millmen 
and 4 prentices will make yearly with the said 16 
bundles of steel and the other stuff aforesaid 32 
harnesses complete, every harness to be rated to the 
kings Highness at ^12 00 which amounteth in the 
year towards his Grace's charge .... 

Item of the said Armourers to be divided into 2 shops 
as is aforesaid 4 of them shall be taken out of 
Erasmus' shop wherein his Grace shall save yearly 
in their wages and living the sum of . 





















iii iiii 







July 13th, 1590 (Lansdowne MS. 63, 5) 

To the Right Honourable the Lords & others of the Queens Most honourable 
Privie Counseil. 

In most humble wise shew & beseche your honours your poor suppliants the 
Armourers of London that whereas we having been at great charges these six or 
seven years as well in making & providing tools & instruments as in entertaining 
and keeping of foreign men from beyond the seas to learn & practice the making 
of armour of all sorts which by the goodness of God we have obtained in such sort 
that at this time we make not onlie great quantitie But also have farre better armors 
than that wch cometh from beyond the Seas as is sufficiently proved, and fearing 
that for lack of sale and utterance of the same we shall not be able to keep & main- 
tain the number of our apprentices & servants which are vy well practised 
in making of all sorts of armors. Our humble suite therfore to yr honors is 
that it shall please you to be a means to Her Mtie that we may be appointed 
to bring into her Mties Store at reasonable prices monthly or quarterly the 
Armor that we shall make till Her Mties Store shall be furnished with all sorts 
of Armor in such numbers as Her Mtie shall think good & appoint. And we and 
our posterity shall not only pry for your Honors but also being strengthened by your 
Honors we do not doubt to serve this land of Englishe Armor in future years as well 
as it is of Englishe Calyvers and muskets wch within this thirtie years or there- 
abouts was servd altogether with Outlandish peces with no money in respect of 
those wch are now made in this land, And we are the more bould, to make this our 
sute to your Honors because it is not a particular Comoditie to us but a benefit to 
the whole land as may be proved by these reasons viz : 

1. Armour made in this land being not good, the makers may be punished by 
the laws provided for the same. 

2. It is a means to set a great number of Her Majesty's subjects on work in 
this land, which now setteth a great number of foreigners on work in other lands. 

3. It will furnish the land with skillfull men to make and fit armour to men's 
bodies in far better order than it hath been heretofore, 

4. We shall be provided within this land of good armour, what restrayntments 
or quarrels so ever be in other lands, whereas hertofore we have been beholding to 
other countries for very bad armour. 

5. We shall be free from all those dangers that may ensue by the number of 
bad and insufiicient armour which are brought into this land by unskilfull men that 




know not what they buy and sell it again to them that know not where to have 
better for their money although they know it to be very bad. 

Her Majesties armories at this parte are very weakly furnished and that wch 
remaynes is neither good in substance nor yet in fashion. So as if it might stande 
in wth yor. LL. good liking it is very needfull the same should be supplied wth 
better choise. 

The armor that is here made is accompted far better than that wch cometh from 
beyond the Seas and would well servi for he Mties store So as it might be delivered 
in good tyme wch the Armorers will undertake to prove but the armor wch they 
make is wholly blacke, so that unless they will undertake to serve white wth al it 
will not be so serviceable The proportion that shall be delivered I refer to yor 11. 
consideracion theire offer is to deliver to the number of eight thousand wthin fyve 
yeres and so after a further proporcion it so shall seem good to yor LL. Theire 
severll prices are hereunder written wch is as lowe as can bring it unto. 

Launce armor compleat iii li vi s viii d. 

Corslets compleate xxx s. 

Curate of proofe wth poldrons xl s. 

Ordinary curate wth poldrons xxvi s viii d. 

Target of proofe xxx s. 

Murrions iii s. iiii d. 

Burgonetts iiii s. 

Endorsed the humble petition of the Armorers of London. 

It is signed by Richard Harford. 

John sewell. 

Richard Woode RW. 

Wm. Pickering. 13 July 1590. 

Lee to inform. 




From records of the Company dated 17th March, 16 18 

The Privy Council on the 15th of March, 16 18, made inquiry : — 

" Who be the ingrossers of Plate to make Armor in London, and secondly what 
is the reason of the scarcity of Armor, and how it may be remedied ? " 

The Company agreed to the following answer being sent : — 

" That concerning the first we know no ingrossers of such Plate and we have 
called to our Hall all the workmen of Armor in London and we find them very few, 
for that in regard of the long peace which, God be thanked, we have had, they have 
settled themselves to other trades, not having imployment for making of Armor, nor 
the means to utter the same if they should make it, for the remedy of which scarcity, 
if it please the Privy Council to take order that the Armorers' work to be by them 
made in London, may be taken and paid for at every six months end. They will 
undertake, if continually employed, to use their best means for provision of stuff to 
make armor in every six months to furnish One hundred Lance Armor, Two hundred 
Light Horsemen's Armor, and Two hundred Footmen's Armor at such rates and 
prices as followeth." 

The Lance Armor, containing Breast, Back, Gorget, Close Head piece, 
Poulderons and vambraces. Gushes, and one Gauntlett, to colored 
Russet, at the price of ....... , ^4 o o 

The Light Horseman's Armor being Breast, Back, Gorgett a barred 
Head piece, Pouldrons, and an Elbowe Gauntlett, to be Russet, at 
the price of ......... . ^2 10 o 

The Footman's Armor, containing Breast, Back, Gorgett, head piece, 

and laces, with iron joints, to be colored russet, at the price of . 10 o 





S.P.D. Jac. I, cv, February 4th, 16 18. Procl. Collec. 65 

. . . . and furthermore the better to keepe the gold and silver of this kingedome not 
onely within the Realme from being exported, but that it may also bee continued in 
moneys and coyne, for the use and commerce of his Majestie and his loving subjects 
and not turned into any dead masse of Plate nor exhausted and consumed in vanities 
of Building and pompous use of Gold and Silver Foliate which have beene in the 
Reignes of divers kings of this Realme . . . and the better to prevent the unnecessary 
and excessive waste of Gold and Silver Foliate within this realeme ; His Majestie 
doth likewise hereby prohibit and forbid 'I hat no Gold or Silver Foliate shall be from 
henceforth wrought, used or imployed in any Building, Seeling, Waniscot, Bedsteds, 
Chayres, Stooles, Coaches or any other ornaments whatsoever, Except it be Armour 
or Weapons or in Armes and Ensignes of Honour at Funerals. 

Feb. 4. 161 8. 





State Papers Domestic, Jac. I, Vol. CLXXX, 71 

King Henry the eight being resolved to have his armorye alw^ayes stronge and 
richly furnished wt thirtie or fowertie thousand armes to be in Rediness to serve 
all the necessities of th times (how suddaine so evr) caused a batterie mill to be built 
at Detford nere Grenew^^^ for the batteringe of plaetes for all sorts of armes but dyed 
before the bsiness w^as perfected. 

In the time of Queen Elizabeth Captain John Martin and myself resolvinge on 
endeavors to the furtheringe so good a worke resolved y* I should go to Inspurge wch 
is uppon the Germaine Alpes and into Lukland likew^ise to bring over into England 
seven or eight plaeters, the beste that might be found (w^ch was donne to ow^" very great 
chardges) and im ediately ther uppo fallinge to worke in a batterie mill wch we like- 
wise erected nere unto Erith in Kent and in y*^ place wrought as many plates of all 
sorts as served very nere for twentie thousand armors and targets never having the 
misterie of plaeting mills in England before. All wch plaeters formerly brought 
over are now dead save one, and he of so cunninge and obstinate a disposition that 
he would nev^ yet be brought to teach any Englishman the true misterie of plaeting 
unto this day. 

The beste plaetes that have been formerly knowen to be in Christendome have 
been made of Inspurg stuff wch place hath continually served Milan Naples and 
other nations, and latelie England also, wch place beinge so remote and in the 
Emperor his owne countrie, it is not possible that wth any conveniencey any stronge 
plaetes can be now bought from thence as formerly we have had. But if his Ma^i^ 
will be plesed to have his armorie continually furnished wth thirtie or fortie thousand 
armes or more to what number he shall be beste plesid as hath been the course and 
resolution of his Roiall pdecessors, y*^ may now be done wth Englishe Irone, by a 
misterie yet unknown, either to smolten plaetes or armour and to be of such 
strength and lightnes, for the ease and pservation of the life of the souldier as 
none can be better found in any nation in Christendome from the pistole to the 

It hath been observed in all antient histories and in the rule of our later moderne 
wars, that the goodness strength and lightness of armes hath been so great an incor- 
adgement unto the souldier as hath made him stand faste in the time of great and 
strong chardges of the enemye, and to give valiant and couradgeous chardges, 
and assaults when they have been assured of the strength and goodness of theyre 



The raetes for Plaetes and armors exactly examined for the prices the strength 
and lightness considered are thus reduced. 

The chardge of a tun of Armor plaetes 
Two chaldron of coles wt. carriage will be 
The workmen for battering this tun of plaetes will have 

uppon every hundred 4/- . 
Reparation weekly for the mill 
A Clarke's wages weekly 

Extraordinary chardges toe & froe for carridges 

£18 o o 
112 o 

o o 

1 2 O 

1 2 O 

10 O 

These particular chardges come to . 

The true chardge of all such sorts of armor as they will stand you in wt. their 
severall pportions and such apporveable goodness as we never heretofore have had. 

Sixe hundred of iron will make five hundred of plaetes 

wch, will be a skore of ordinary curatts of pistoll 

proofe wch. cometh toe wth pouldrons . . 5100 

The Armourers may make them wt due shape black 

nayle and lether them for . . . .7100 

These twentie armours will yeild , . . 26 o o 

So in these twentie armours is clerely gained the 

sum of . . . . . .1300 

Power hundred of plates will make 20 paier of curatts 

wt out pouldrons . . . . .3120 

The Armorers may pportion them, black lether & naile 

them for . . . . , .600 

These 20 paire of curatts will yeld . . . 20 o o 

In these 20 paire of curatts is clerely gained . . 1080 

The chardge of 20 lance armours. 

Sixteen hundred of plaetes will make twentie lance 

armours wch come to . . . .1480 

The Armourers may finishe them upp for fourtie shil- 
lings the armour wch comes to . . . 40 o o 

These 20 launce armours will yeld fower pounds a piece 

wch amounteth unto . . . . 80 o o 

So yt in these 20 launce armours is clerely gained . 25 12 o 

Five hundred of plaetes will make twentie proof targetts 

wch will come to . . . .4100 

The armourers may finishe them lether them and blacke 

them with all other chardges for . . ,1200 

Thes targets will yeld (24S.^ ) the piece . .2600 

In these targetts may be cleared . . . 9100 

^ An error in the original — this should be 26s. 


Twelve hundred of plaetes will make 20 paire of stronge 

curatts with stronge capps wch will stand in . ^Tio 16 o 
The Armourers may finishe them for (30s.) the paire 

wch amounteth unto . , . . 30 o o 

These 20 paier of stronge curatts wt their capps will 

yeld 4 li. the paier wch cometh toe . . 80 o o 

So that by these 20 paier of stronge curatts will be 

clerely gayned . . . , . 39 10^ o 

With fower plaeters may be wrought up in one weeke 
3700 weight of plates. The pfitt of wch weekly, 
as by the particulars may appear will be , . 98 14 o 

And if these fower plaeters be emploied the whole year 
(abating one month in the year for idle dayes) it 
amounteth unto per ann . . . ,4737li.i2 o 

^ Should be 4s. 


Carolus I, ann. 7, 1631. Rymer, Vol. XIX, 309 

"John Franklin, William Crouch, John Ashton, Thomas Stephens, Rowland 
Foster, Nicholas Marshall, William Coxe, Edward Aynesley, Armourers & freemen 
of the company of Armourers ar ordered to deliver 1 500 armours each month with 
arms, pikes &c. and to train prentices and to mend, dress & stamp armours." The 
document goes on to state " you ar to approve of all such armour of the said common 
armes & trayned bands as shall be found fit for service, and shall trye all sorts of gunnes, 
pikes, bandaliers of the said common armes and trayned bands before they be used or 
excersied and to approve of such as are serviceable for warres at the owners charges 
and being proved shall allow as fit for service and allowing shall stamp the same with 
A. and a Crown being the hall mark for the company of workmen armourers of 
London which marke or stamp our pleasure is shall with consent of the lord lieu- 
tenant or his deputy lieutenant remayne in their custodye who shall have the charge 
to be intrusted with the execution of this service. . . . And because diverse cutlers, 
smythes, tynkers & othe botchers of armes by their unskilfulness have utterly spoiled 
many armes, armours gunnes and pykes, and bandoliers . . . we doe hereby prohibit 
that noe person or persons whatever, not having served seven years or been brought 
up as an apprentice or apprentices in the trade and mysterie of an armourer, gun- 
maker, pyke-maker and bandolier-maker and thereto served their full tyme of seven 
years as aforesaid ... do make, alter, change, dress or repayr, prove or stamp any armes, 
armours, gunnes, pykes or bandoliers . . . we do absolutely forbid that no iron- 
monger, cutler or chandler or other person whatsoever doe vent or sell any armours, 
gunnes, pikes or bandoliers or any part of them except such as shall be proved and 
stamped with the said hall marke of the company of workmen armourers aforesaid 
being the proofe marke . . . that hereafter there shall be but one uniform Fashion of 
Armour of the said Trayned Bands throughout our said Kingdome of England & 
Dominion of Wales . . . whereof the Patterns are and shall remayne from tyme to 
tyme in our said Office (of Ordinance)." 





S.P.D. Car. I, cclxxxix, 93, May, 1635 

Petitioners being few in number & most of them aged about 7 years past sued 
to Her Mtie for some employment for preservation of the manufacture of armour 
making within the kingdom. Her Mtie on advice & report of the Council of War 
granted petitioners a patent which 2 years passed the great seal & was then called 
for by the Council for further consideration. Pray them to take the same into con- 
sideration and the distress of petitioners & either to pass the patent or if there be any 
omission in it to give orders for drawing up another. 




Harl. MS. 7457 

Greenwich Wee doe find aswell upon our owne view as upon the information 
of diverse officers of the Armoury stoorekeeper and others That 
dureing the time of the late distraccions The severall Armes amunition and Habih- 
ments of Warre formerly remaineing in the greene Gallery at Greenwich were all 
taken and carryed away by sundry Souldiers who left the doore open ; That sundry 
of the said Armes were afterwards brought into the Tower of London by Mr. 
Anneslye where they are still remaineing ; That the Wainescot in the said Gallery is 
now all pull'd downe and carryed away ; and (as We are informed) was imployed in 
wainescotting the house in the Tower where the said Mr. Anneslye lived ; That a great 
part of the severall Tooles and other utensils for makeing of Armour formerly 
remaineing in the Master Armourers workehouse there and at the Armourers Mill, 
were alsoe within the tyme of the said distraccions taken and carryed away (saving 
two old Trunkes bound about with Iron, which are still remaineing in the said 
workehouse. One old Glazeing wheele, still at the Mill, and one other glazeing wheele 
sold to a Cutler in Shoo lane) : That sundry of the said Tooles and other utensills have 
since byn converted and sold to private uses, by those who within the tyme of the late 
distraccions had the Command and care of the said armes and Tooles, both at Green- 
wich and at the Tower : That diverse of the said Tooles are still in other private mens 
hands, who pretend they bought them : That the great Anville (called the great Beare) 
is now in the custodye of Mr. Michaell Basten, locksmith at Whitehall, and the 
Anville knowne by the name of the little Beare, is in the custodie of Thomas Cope, 
one of His Majesties Armourers ; And one Combe stake in the Custody of Henry 
Keeme one other of his Majesties Armourers And that the said Mill formerly 
employed in grinding and glazeing and makeing cleane of Armes, is destroyed and 
converted to other uses by one Mr. Woodward who claims it by virtue of a Graunt 
from King James (of blessed memorye) but the officers of the Armorye (for his 
Majesties use) have it now in their possession. 

Memorandum ^^^^ severall distinguishments of the Armors and Furnitures 
before mencioned, viz' The first serviceable, The second defective, 
and to be repaired, The third unserviceable, in their owne kinds, yet may be employed 
for necessary uses, are soe reported by Richard Kinge and Thomas Cox, two of his 
Majesties Armorers at Greenwich, who were nominated and appointed in his Majesties 
Commission, under his signe Manual before recited, to be assistant in this Service : 
And we doe thinke the same to be by them faithfully and honestly soe distinguished. 
Will. Legge, Master of his Majesties Armories. J. Robinson, Lt: Ten: Toure. 

Jo. Wood, Barth Beale. 

25 193 



Alba, Duke of, 132 
Albrecht, Harnischmeister, 9, 134 
Almain armourers, 14 

settle in England, 16 

Almain Armourer's Album, 1 9, 143 
Almain rivet, 52 
Amman, Jost, 24, 36 
Angellucci, Major, on " proof," 63, 67 
Anvils, 24 
Arbois, 14, 136 
Armenia, Poisoned ore in, 40 
Arming-doublet, 1 06 
Arming-nails, 52 
Arming-points, 30, 109, ill 
Armour, Simplicity of English, 1 6 

— Boxes for, 82 

— cut up for lock-plates, 1 9 

— Disuse of, 116 

— Painted, 80 

— reinforced on left side, 52 

— Scarlet covering for, 93 

— Tinned, 33 

— Weights of, 42, 116 
Armourers' Company of London, 1 20 

absorb the Bladesmiths, 1 24 

and the informers Tipper and Dawe, 123 

employed for coin-striking, 123 

examine imported armour, 123 

Hall-mark of, 124, 191 

Regulations for apprentices of, 1 24 

Armourers, Regulations for, 57 

— Marks of, 70 

Illustrations of, 22-4, 36 

Arrows for proving armour, 04 
Ash, Monument at, 51, 1 06 
Ashford, Helm at, 17, 18 
Ashmolean Museum, Pictures in, 30, 98 

Leather gauntlet in, 96 

hat, 99 


Banded mail, 46 
Barcelona, 12 

Bards of leather in Tower and Armeria Reale, 
Turin, 102 

— Painting of, 98 

Barendyne helm, 17, II9 
Barrel for cleaning armour, 79 
Baskets for armour, 81 
Battering-mills, 22, 35, 1 88 

Beauchamp, Richard, Earl of Warwick, effigy of, 
15, 138 

— Pageants, 15 
Belleval, Marquis de, II3 
Berardi, Guigliemo, Statue of, 74 
Blewbery, John, 60 

Tools of, 27, 30 

Bordeaux, 12 
Bottes, Armure a, 62 

— cassees, 62 
Bracers for archers, lol 
Bracket for sallad, 56 
Bradshaw, Hat of, 99 
Brampton, Nicholas, 88 
Brassard, Construction of, 53 

— of cuir-bouilli, loo 
Brescia, 1 3 

Breughel, Picture by, 35, 92 
Brigandarius, Office of, 61 
Brigandine, Construction of, 29, 49 
— - Marking of, 7 1 

— Proving of, 64 

— Reinforcing plates for the, 50 

British Museum, Anvil and pincers in the, 24 

Brigandine cap, 30 

Brocas helm, 17, ill, 119 
Buckram used for armour, 86 
Buff coat, Last use of, 103 
Bullato, Baltesar, 1 6 
Burgmair, Hans, 131 
Burgonet, Skilful forging of, 51 

— Meyrick's views on the, 54 
Burrel, Walter, on iron-smelting, 39 
Burring machine, 36 

Buttin, Charles, viii, 62, 68, loo 


Calverly, Sir Hugh, discards leg-armour, 115 

Camail, Construction of, 45 

Camelio, Vittore, 131 

Campi, Bartolomeo, 37, 76, 1 32 

Cantoni brothers, 133 

Castile, Helmet of King of, 73 




Catheloigne, 13 

Cavalry, "Weight of modern equipment of, 1 19 
Cellini, Benvenuto, on damascening, 76 
Chalcis, Italian armour from, 1 8, 78 

— Brigandine-plates from, 50 
Charnel, The, ill 

Charles I, Armour of, 76 
Charles V, 2, 16, 1 32, 134 
Chiesa, Pompeo della, 37, 140 
Christian II, Armour in Dresden of, 75 
Cloueur, Demi, 62 

— Haute, 62 
Clous perdus, 1 1 
Coats of fence, 84, 87 
Colleoni, Pauldrons on statue of, 5 
Colman, Coloman, 1 33 

— Desiderius, 134 

his rivalry with the Negrolis, 1 6 

— Lorenz, 133 
Cologne, 12 

Cosson, Baron de, viii, 84, 1 38 

Craft rules, 3 

Cramer, J., 44 

Cuir-bouilli, 97 

Cuisse for foot-soldier, 6 

Curzon, The Hon. R,, 96 


D'Aubernon, Brass of Sir John, 74 

Davies, Edward, 48 

Dawtrey helm, 1 19 

De Bures, Brass of Sir Robert, 74 

Deforestation due to iron-smelting, 58 

Derby, Earl of, brings over Milanese armourers, 15 

Derrick's Image of Ireland, 48 

Dillon, Viscount, viii, 107, I09, I44 

Ditchley accounts, 19 

on proof of armour, 66 

Dobbles, 28, 104 

Doul, Dr., and the Armourers' Company, 1 22 
Dover Castle inventory, 25, 33, 79 
Dresden, Armour in, 75, 80, 134-7, 140 
Dudley, Dud, 40, 41 
Diirer, Albrecht, 89, 131 


Edward II and the Armourers' Company, 121 
England, Documents relating to armourers in, 

" Engraved suit," Tower, lo, 53, 74, 142 
Eyelet coats, 90 
Erasmus (Kirkenor), 60 
Erith, Plating-mills at, 34, 1 88 
Estrama^on, Proof by, 62 


Fabrics imitated in armour, 77 

Falkenor, Petition by, 59 

FalstofFe, Inventory of Sir John, 92 

Field of the Cloth of Gold, Armourers at, 3 1 

Florence, Armourers of, 14 

Fogge Helm, 17 

Foulke, Roger, 41 

Framlingham Castle inventory, 25 

Frauenpreis, Matthaias, 1 35 


Galeazzo Maria Sforza, 133 

Galliot de Balthasin, 1 1 3 

Gambesons, Regulations for making, 85 

— soaked in vinegar, 92 
Garbagnus, 21, 68 

Gauntlet discarded for complex sword-hilt, 7 
Gaya mentions proof of armour, 28, 69 
" Glancing surface," The, 3, 4 
Glazing-wheels, 3 1 

Goodrich Court, Leather armour at, 98 

New College armour at, 65 

Gratz, Armoury at, 1 8 
"Great Bear" anvil, 35, 193 
Greenwich, Workshops at, 32 

— Painting of a jack at, 49 
Gresham, Steelyard of Sir Thomas, 19 
Griinewalt, Hans, 1 35 

Guiart, 84 
Guidobaldo II, 132 

Guise, Armour of the Due de, 65, 118 
Gustavus Adolphus, Leather coat of, 88 
guns of, 99, 102 


Hall-mark of the Armourers' Company, 60, 70, 

Hampton Court, Portrait of the Due de Nevers at, 

30, III 
Haselrigg's "lobsters," 8 1 
Hastings MS. mention of padding, 88 
regulations for under-garments, 1 07 

— Battle of, I 
Haustement, The, ill 
Hearne, his visit to Ditchley, 1 9 
Helm for " barriers," 7 

— Fastenings for, 1 12 
Helmet-caps, 89 
Helmschmied, see Colman 
Helmsmith at work, 23 
Hengrave Hall inventory, 48 

Henry VIII, suit for fighting on foot, 57 

— " Engraved" suit, lo, 53, 74, 142 



Henry VIII imports armourers, l6 

Henry, Prince of Wales, Armour of, II, 20, 59 

Hewitt, John, vii, 125 

Hill, Treatise of Johan, 93, 173 

Hippopotamus hide used for armour, I02 

Holinshed's description of jacks, 90 

Homildon, Arrows at the battle of, 38 

Hope, David le, 57 

Hopfer, Daniel, 1 36 

Horse-armour, 8 

— padded, 85 

— of leather, 1 02 

— laminated, 9, 1 34 
Horse-trappers, 84 

— of leather, 98 


Infantry, Weight of modern equipment of, 1 18, 1 19 
Iron mills, 58 

— ore. Poisoned, 40 

— Prices of, 39 

Isebrook, as used by Shakespeare, 38 

Jack, Construction of, 49, 50 

— Regulations of Louis XI for, 87 

— stuffed with horn and mail, 92 
Jacobi mentioned as master workman, 66 

James II, Proclamation against use of gold and 

silver foliate, 59, 1 87 
Joinville, Armour given by the Prince de, 1 1 
Jousting, Position of rider in, 5 
Jousting-armour, Construction of, 7 
Jousting-helm, Occularium of, 5 

— Fastenings of, 112 


Kelk, John, and the Armourers' " Manakine," 125 
Knopf, Heinrich, 75 

Kugler supplies inferior metal to Seusenhofer, 1 3, 

38, 142 
Kyrkenor, Erasmus, 60 


Lames simulated by embossing, r i 

La Noue criticizes weight of armour, 116 

Leather horse-armour, 102 

— guns, 99, 102 

— cuisses and morion, 98 

Lee, Sir Henry, Armour of, 19, 144 

— — Helmet of, 89, 145 

Trial of armour by, 66 

Master of the Armouries, 59 

Legg, Col. William, Master of the Armouries, 34, 

*' Leicester" suit in the Tower, 57, 144 
Lewisham, Armoury mill at, 35 
Lindsay helm, 1 19 
Linen armourers, 88, 94 
Lochner, Conrad, 1 36 

Locking-gauntlet in Armourers' Hall, 55, 1 25, 145 

Locking-hooks, 55' 5^ 

Locking-pins, 55 

Louis XIV, Armour of, 21 

— Proof mark on armour of, 68 


Madrid, Armour in, 16, 29, 57, 75, 76, III, 119, 

131-7, 140 
Mail cut up for gussets and sleeves, 19 

— Construction of, 44 
I — Double, 45 

— Proof of, 62 

— Marking of, 70 

— Painted, 80 

— used at end of sixteenth century, 1 03 
i — Banded, 1 46 

I — makers, 23 

I Manifer, Main faire. Main de fer, viii, 92 
i Mantegna, Picture of S. George by, 1 5, 1 38 
Mantua, Francesco di, 134 

Marche, Oliver de la, mentions secret tempering 
I for armour, 67 

I leather for duelling-armour, 98 

i Martin, John, Erection of plating-mills by, 34, 188 
I appeals for German platers, 121, 188 

Mary of Burgundy, 14 

Maximilian I, 1 3 3-7 

Maximilian II, 2, 14, 134, 136, 141, 142 

— his theories on making armour, 16, 143 
Mendlesham, Village armoury at, 18, 90 
Merate brothers, 14, 1 36 

Merchant Tailors, 95 
Meyrick, Sir Samuel, vii 

his theories on banded mail, 48 

the burgonet, 54 

Milan, 12, 13, 138 

— Important factories of armour in, 15 
Milanese armourers employed by Henry VIII, 16, 


Mildmay, Sir Walter, and the Armourers' Com- 
pany, 122 
" Milliner" derived from Milaner, 94 
Missaglia, The, 21, 137 

— Helm in the Tower by, 7 

— Antonio, Marks of, 50 
Armour by, 14, 1 39 

— Tomaso, Armour by, 138 
Mola, Gasparo, 1 39 


Montauban, Chapeaux de, 12 

Moroni, Portraits by, I09 

«' Muhlberg " suit of Charles V, 57 

Multscher, Hans, Statue of S. George by, 1 4 

Musee d'Artillerie, Armour in, 21, 57, 64, 65, 68, 

71, 74» 119. 136. 13% 14°' M3 

Eyelet coat in, 90 

Horse-armour in, 8 

Leather guns in, 1 02 


Nasal, The, 46 

Negrolis, 12, 1 6, 75, 1 40 

New College, Armour from, 19, 65 

New York, Anvil in Metropolitan Museum, 24 

Niello-work as decoration for armour, 74 

North, The Hon. Robert, describes padded armour, 

Northumberland, Equipage of the Earl of, 30, III 

Or San Michele, Statue of S. George in, 1 4 
Ortolano, Picture by, 30 


Painted Chamber, Westminster, Frescoes in, 8 
Passau, 13 

— Mark of the city of, 7 1 

Parkes, his fowling-piece of " Dudley ore," 41 
Passe-guard, viii, 52, 92 

— wrong use of the word, viii, 4 
Pauldrons, Large, 5 

Pavia, Picture of the battle of, 98 
PelFenhauser, Anton, 1 1, 75, 140 
Peruzzi, Marchese, 1 9 
Petit of Blois, 76 
Petworth, Helm at, 1 8 
Piccinino, Lucio, 11, 140 
Pickering, William, 20, 59, 122 
Piers Gaveston, Inventory of, 73 
Pitt-Rivers Museum, Culottes and coats of fence in 
the, 84 

Plate armour on legs. Reasons for, 3 

Platers, 22 

Plates, Size of, 42 

Plating-mills, 34, 1 88 

Pluvinel, De, II4 

Poldermitton, The, 7 

Poore, William, suggests a preservative for armour, 

Porte de Hal Musee, Horse-cuissard in, 9 

Eyelet coat in, 90 

Privy coats, 87 


Proof of armour, 62-72 

by Sir Henry Lee, 66 

— marks on bascinet in Tower, 64 
on armour of Louis XIV, 60 


Rene, King, 85, 88, 10 1 
Rerebrace, Construction of the, 5 
Richmond at Bosworth Field, 2 
Richmond, John, and the Armourers' Company, 

Rivets filed flat, 4 
Rivet, Sliding, 52, 53 

— word used for a suit of armour, 52 
Robinet, the King's tailor, 82, 9 1 
Rogers, Prof. Thorold, 38 
Rosebecque, Battle of, loi 
Rudolph of Nuremberg, 44 

Ryall, Henry de, 94 


S. Demetrius, Picture of, 30 

S. George, Statuette by Multscher of, 1 5 

at Prague of, 5 1 

— Engravings by Diirer of, 89 

S. Victor, Picture at Glasgow of, 5 1 

S. William, Carving at Strasburg of, I06 

Sallad cap, 89 

— Cover for, 93 

— Venetian, 93 

Sanseverino, Armour of Roberto di, 1 4 
Saulx-Tavannes, J. de, 28 
Saxe, Marshal, 65, 99 
Search, Right of, 20, 58, 12 1 
Sebastian, Armour of King, 75> ^4° 
Seusenhofers, The, 141 
Seusenhofer, Conrad, 10, 74, 77> 141 

— ^ — complains of inferior metal, 1 3 

his workshop described in the Weisz Kunig, 


Shrewsbury, Gild of Armourers at, 59 
Sidney, Sir Philip, II5 
Sigismond of Tirol, Armour of, 2 1 
Siris bronzes, 73 

Sliding rivet. Construction of, 10, 52, 53 
Smith, Sir John, 91, 113, 145 
Solingen, 1 3 

SoUeret, Construction of, 6 

— Unpractical, 1 1 
Speculum Regale, 84 
Splinted armour, 49, 51 
Spring-pins, 56 
Staley, E., 14 
Stamps, Armourer's, 72 

Stanley, John, Sergeant Armourer, 26 



Staples for helms, 1 1 1 

Stibbert Museum, 19 

Stokes, W., The Vaulting Master, 113 

Stone, Benjamin, blade-maker, 60 

Sturtevant's Metallica, 63 

Surcoat, The use of, 79 

Sword-pommels used for weights, 19 


Thyrkill, Richard, 71 
Tilt-hammers, 35, 40 
Toledo, 13 
Tonlet, 109 
Tools, 24-31 
Topf, Jacob, 143 

Armour by, 19, 76 

Armour in Armourers' Hall by, 125 

Peculiarity of hook on armets by, 21 

Toulouse, 12 

Tower of London, Armour in, 11, 53, 57, 74, 
119, 137, 139, 142, 144, 145 

Helm by the Missaglias in, 7, 64 

Jacks in, 49 

" Toiras " armour, 60 
Tresses, 109 

Turin, Armeria Reale, 71, 102, 141 
Tyler, Wat, destroys a jack, 49 


Under-garments, 106 


Vambrace, Construction of, 6 

Van der Goes, Picture in Glasgow by, 50 

Vaulting Master, The, 1 1 3 

Verney Memoirs, mention of proof of armour, 68 
fit of armour, 105 

Versy, 12 
Vervelles, 46 

Vienna, Armour in, 14, 133-41, 143, 145 

— Brigandine in, 50 

— Helm-cap in, 89 

— Helmet-covers in, 93 
Vireton, 64 


"Wallace helm, 18, 117 

— Collection, Horse-armour in, 9 

Armour in, 134, 139, 145 

Bascinet and camail in, 46 

Tools in, 24 

Waller, J. G., his views on banded mail, 48 

Walsingham, 49 

Way, Albert, 107 

JVeisz Kiinig, 15, 141, 142 

Armourer's tools figured in, 28 

Westminster helm, 17, 18, 119 

— Workshops in, 32 

Whalebone used for gloves and jacks, 100 
Whetstone, his project for light armour of proof, 


Willars de Honnecourt, 45 
William the Conqueror, i 
Willoughby, Jack of Sir John, 49 
Windsor Park Tournament, 29, 100 
Wire-drawing, Invention of, 44 
Woolvercote, Sword-mills at, 34 
Woolwich Rotunda, Tools in the, 24 

helm, 18 

leather guns, 102 


Zeller, Walter, 92 
Zurich, 18 

Printed by 
William Brendon and Son, Ltd.